75% of women inside La. prison facility test positive for COVID-19

Published: May. 1, 2020 at 3:44 PM CDT
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A staggering 75% of 155 female Louisiana state inmates at one facility have tested positive for COVID-19, the Louisiana Department of Corrections (DOC) says.

That’s despite those same inmates not exhibiting any symptoms of the virus, according to the agency.

The DOC conducted the testing at LCIW-Hunt, a facility for female inmates located in St. Gabriel, Louisiana.

“Last week, the department [DOC] tested 155 asymptomatic inmates at LCIW-Hunt, which resulted in 117 asymptomatic COVID-19 positives,” said DOC Communications Director Ken Pastorick. “The department is awaiting pending results on one of the tests.”

The additional testing came after more than three dozen inmates at the same facility had previously tested positive, the department says.

“Due to the continual increase of positive tests and the high percentage of COVID-19 positives at LCIW-Hunt last week, 39 symptomatic positive cases, the department thought it prudent to test everyone there to determine whether there were asymptomatic cases,” Pastorick said.

Pastorick says the DOC was able to conduct the testing because of additional testing kits provided by the state’s health department.

“The department has provided each inmate with two cloth masks, which are cleaned and sanitized each day,” the spokesman said. “Inmates have also been provided additional soap, and hand sanitizer is available at the prisons.”

The DOC says frequent sanitation measures at all of its facilities continues on a daily basis.

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