The Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections announced Tuesday that prisoner visiting and volunteering have been suspended in the state’s eight state-run prisons in reaction to the state’s recent rise in COVID-19 cases. The ban will be in effect for at least three weeks. In a statement, the department said it took the “precautionary measure” to “protect its staff and prisoner populations” and that the suspension will be reviewed on August 16.
This isn’t the first time the coronavirus outbreak has caused visitation to be halted in prisons. Visits were originally prohibited on March 20, 2020, and they were not reinstated until March 13, 2021. According to weekly data given by the agency, there were 26 staff members and no convicts who tested positive for COVID-19 as of July 21 among the eight state-run institutions. However, the Delta variant has aided in pushing cases and hospitalizations to new highs across the state.
One of Louisiana top hospitals suspended non-urgent surgical procedures that need hospital beds on Monday in reaction to increased COVID-19 hospitalizations. Unvaccinated people account for 90 percent of current hospitalizations in due to COVID-19 problems, according to Governor John Bel Edwards. And, because Louisiana is one of the least immunised states in the country, Edwards advised folks to get vaccinated today.Edwards also recommended citizens to maintain social distance and backed the Health Department’s recommendation that both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals wear face masks indoors, which was issued last week.