8 Covid Deaths in Prison


Cordelia Peterson, Writer

Eight people died in a Louisiana Federal Prison due to a lack of PPE and social distancing. March 21 the first Covid case was confirmed but it was so hard to get proper Personal Protective Equipment that the spread was not controlled. The prison has at least 20 more hospitalized. On top of that it is too hard to keep a steady airflow when you can’t have open windows and doors everywhere.
At least 200 inmates who were asymptomatic tested positive in March. But their lack of quarantining allowed them to spread the virus to many others. This has been an ongoing lawsuit for the past few months.
After contact tracing revealed that the first 5 cases were from a teacher who had traveled from New York to teach a class at the prison many things within the prison were put on hold leaving inmates locked in their cells for weeks at a time.
One shocking thing that was found was that in some situations the cases were linked from an exposure months prior. An original case that might have been a superspreader.
Since it is very hard to enforce the inmates to wear a mask all the time the spread is a lot faster than normal. So they are like a huge family in the sense that they are always together. But people still have to travel in and out of the prison to deliver goods and work shifts. So COVID can come in but once it’s in it will spread to many people.
In order to control the spread the prison tried to limit the number of people coming in. However, this would mean that the shifts went up to around 40 hours at a time. The prison has also started to increase the amount of screening that is required to get into the prison.
Things are starting to be contained after a new restriction on the inmates said that movement of the inmates throughout the building had to be limited.