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DOC suspends visitation, volunteering at Louisiana’s state-run prisons due to fourth COVID surge

(Hawaii News Now/file)
Published: Jul. 27, 2021 at 10:38 AM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Officials with the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections (DOC) say they are suspending visitation and volunteering at all of Louisiana’s state-run prisons until at least Aug. 16 due to the state’s fourth surge of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

DOC issued the following statement on Tuesday, July 27:

“Out of an abundance of caution concerning the latest surge of COVID-19 positive cases in Louisiana, the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections (DPS&C) has suspended prisoner visitation and volunteering effective immediately through August 16, 2021, at Louisiana’s eight state-run prisons. The Department has taken this precautionary measure to protect its staff and prisoner populations, and will review and reconsider the need for these measures on August 16, 2021.

In lieu of visitation, the Department will continue to offer two free phone calls per week to ensure inmates have continued connection to family and friends during this event. In addition, video calling remains available for a fee.

To help prevent the spread of this disease within Louisiana’s eight state-run prisons, the DOC continues COVID screening with temperature checks and questions for anyone entering the state’s prisons, including staff and vendors.

The DPS&C has reminded its staff and inmates on social distancing and hand washing practices to reduce the potential spread of coronavirus. Staff who are sick with symptoms consistent with the flu or coronavirus continue to be reminded to stay home.

Approximately 68 percent of inmates incarcerated in Louisiana’s state-run prisons have voluntarily chosen to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, and the Department continues to make vaccinations available to all inmates.

The DOC, in partnership with the Louisiana Department of Health and the Louisiana Sheriff’s Association, is following CDC guidance, and continues to monitor the situation and update its response as necessary.

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

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