If one of your loved ones is currently locked up in one of Louisiana's eight state-run corrections facilities. The rising number of COVID cases is the reason.

According to state officials, there is still a free avenue of communication open to inmates. While it does cost to have a video chat, prisoners will be allowed to have two free phone calls each week.

What is the Department of Corrections doing to combat COVID infection and spread?

State officials say that 68 percent of all of the inmates that are currently in one of their eight facilities have been vaccinated with the COVID vaccine on a voluntary basis. They add that anyone is able to get the vaccine, and all they need to do is simply ask for it.

They are continuing things like thorough hand washing, and social distancing for anyone in the facility whether they are inmates or staff. In addition to those measures, they are also checking the temperatures of people in the facility. The standard routine of asking workers at the facility and those that work for vendors of the facility if they are experiencing any kinds of sickness symptoms will also continue. Any staff member that is feeling sick is being encouraged to stay at home so as not to spread infection.

This change in policy will extend through Monday, August 16. At that time, department officials say they will reassess the situation to determine whether or not the suspension of visits will continue. The policy also means that all volunteering services that included volunteers coming to the facilities have been put on hold for the time being.

The latest information can be found at doc.la.gov.

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