Families fearful after another inmate from FCI Oakdale dies of COVID-19

Updated: Mar. 10, 2021 at 5:35 PM CST
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - For the first time this year, the Bureau of Prisons reports a COVID-19 death of an inmate who had been incarcerated at correctional facilities in Oakdale.

This makes the 8th death since the pandemic started a year ago.

Bureau of Prisons officials report Marcelo Ramos-Ortiz died Thursday March 4th after testing positive for COVID at Federal Correctional Institute 2 on January 18th. Ramos-Ortiz was 59 years old and described as having long term pre-existing medical conditions which CDC lists as risk factors for more severe covid.

Meanwhile, those with loved ones incarcerated at the complex still raise concerns. A woman we’re calling Cora says new inmates are not quarantined until they test positive and have already exposed others.

“They’re being put in units before the test results come in. Once the test results come in and the inmate is positive, then they pull them out and then they quarantine them. That individual has already exposed everyone in the unit before he’s tested or quarantined,” she said. We are not identifying her publicly, because she fears it would be held against her relative.

Cora is afraid inadequate safeguards are in place.

“They’re not following the rules of their own organization and keeping inmates safe, and I’m very concerned for my loved one,” she said.

According to the BOP website there are active coronavirus cases at both prison facilities in Oakdale: 3 inmates and 40 staff members.

We called BOP officials to see if they would respond to family members concerns, but we have not yet heard back.

For more information on how BOP is responding to COVID-19 click here.

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