LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Family members of inmates at Allen Correctional Center in Kinder are upset with how COVID-19 is being handled.
They say those who test positive are not being properly separated from others and they’re concerned about medical care being provided.
As of Tuesday, 28 inmates were positive and were showing symptoms. Another 38 were positive, but not showing symptoms.
Fifteen staff members have tested positive.
More than 1,000 inmates are housed at Allen Correctional Center, which is run by the Louisiana Department of Corrections.
Relatives of those incarcerated at Allen worry about whether their loved ones are protected from the coronavirus.
A family member of an inmate who tested positive says he sleeps an arm’s length from another inmate who has the virus. She believes there should be more separation between them.
She says he had a fever and other symptoms but received no medical care except a temperature check twice a day.
“It got as high as 101.9 and after that he, for the two days he was in bed, he wasn’t able to get up to go have his temperature taken, so it could have been higher than that, but he was too weak to get up to go have his temperature taken,” she says, adding that she hasn’t spoken with him in a couple of days and is unsure how he is doing.
DOC officials say they are following testing recommendations from the Louisiana Department of Health and that numerous measures are in place to provide quarantine, isolation, and care as needed
DOC spokesman Ken Pastorick released the following statement:
“We understand relatives’ concerns. The Department of Corrections (DOC) continues to follow Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) protocols to maximize its response, and mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Early on, the DOC suspended visitation and volunteering, implemented screening of all DOC employees arriving for work, and ramped up disinfection of all state-run prisons. In addition, staff and inmates have been provided masks and soap, and sanitizer is available with the corrections officers. The Department has issued uniform guidelines to all state-run prisons regarding medical isolation procedures for those infected and medical quarantine for those who have been exposed to the virus. These protocols are based upon CDC and LDH-issued guidelines to prison facilities, and have been in place since the beginning to prevent the spread of this virus. At Allen Correctional Center, and as required in these guidelines, symptomatic COVID-19 inmates are housed in medical isolation, separate from those who are asymptomatic or those whose symptoms have significantly improved. All COVID-19 cases are actively monitored by medical professionals as recommended by the CDC.”