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Allergic reaction sends COs to hospital

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Lance Wheeler/For Columbia-Greene MediaTwo mailroom employees at Greene Correctional Facility in Coxsackie were hospitalized Saturday after they were exposed to an unknown substance, authorities said,
September 9, 2019 05:04 pm Updated: September 9, 2019 10:20 pm

COXSACKIE — An allergic reaction sent several corrections officers to the hospital Saturday, state police said Monday.

Hazardous materials response teams from Greene and Columbia counties were dispatched to Greene Correctional facility at about 12:30 p.m Saturday, state police said.

A sergeant at the prison reported a “28-year-old female officer was processing two packages in their package room inside the facility and began to have difficulty breathing,” according to the 911 alert.

The officer received treatment at Albany Medical Center, state police Public Information Officer Steven Nevel said Monday.

“She was given a Benadryl and released,” he said.

Two other officers were treated at the prison’s infirmary, Nevel said.

“It was nothing that would cause death or serious injury,” he said, adding that the other officers complained of itching.

The names and other identifying information of the officers are not being released at this time.

State police are continuing their investigation into the substance that caused the allergic reactions, Nevel said.

“It does not appear to be a targeted attack,” Nevel said.

Nevel described the recipient of the package as a model prisoner. State police have not released the name of the inmate.

The person who delivered the package has also not caused any issues for the prison, Nevel said. The deliverer also has not been identified by police.

Police are not pursuing any criminal charges on the matter, Nevel said.

State police will continue to assist the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision with the investigation.