Two DOC employees test positive for COVID-19, but no confirmed cases in prison population

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BATON ROUGE, La. (KLFY) — Two employees at two different state prisons have tested positive for the coronavirus, but there are still no confirmed cases in the state’s prison population as of yet.

According to a Department of Corrections (DOC) press release, both employees were notified of positive COVID-19 results over the weekend and are now at home in self-isolation. These employees had limited contact with other staff and inmates. Inmates who may have been exposed have been quarantined and are asymptomatic with no fever. Employees who had contact with the infected staff were sent home to self-quarantine.

“The reality is we are all at risk to this virus,” said DOC Secretary Jimmy Le Blanc. “Early on, we activated our Department regulations and prison policies and took proactive measures in preparation for COVID-19. We have continuously educated and kept our prison population and staff informed on protocols and procedures aimed at reducing the risk of exposure.”

To date, 32 state inmates have tested negative for COVID-19. In the interest of public safety and maintaining order and stability in our state-run prisons, the DOC said it will not disclose the names of the institutions housing inmates who have tested.

The DOC said its aggressive response inside state prisons from the beginning has included:

  • Suspension of visitation, volunteering, and tours
  • Screening of all staff and vendors prior to entering institutions
  • More frequent sanitizing of frequently-touched surfaces
  • Hand soap and paper towels are frequently restocked in the bathrooms
  • Hand sanitizer is available at the institutions
  • Minimized internal transfers of inmates on a case-by-case basis
  • Education of staff and inmates on COVID-19

DOC is providing inmates in state-run facilities two free 15-minute calls and two free email stamps each week in an effort to ensure inmates are able to continue to communicate with family and friends.

Stay informed on decisions affecting the state’s prisons by visiting the DOC’s website at doc.la.gov.

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