Coronavirus Reaches Louisiana Prisons. 1 Dead, More Test Positive
As the Coronavirus rages through Louisiana, making it one of (if not the) biggest hot zones in the world for the pandemic, the crisis has reached dangerous new territory - our prisons.
Yesterday, 49 year-old Patrick Jones was pronounced dead at a hospital after being put on a ventilator. He was taken to a hospital on March 19th after complaining of chest pains. After an examination by the medical staff at the correctional facility, he was taken to the nearby hospital where he died. Fox News reports that he was currently serving a 324-month sentence for "possession with intent to distribute 425.1 grams of crack cocaine within 1,000 feet of a junior college."
It's a nightmare scenario, with everyone living in such close quarters - it's going to be extremely difficult to contain. According to the report, Jones was serving time at a low-security correctional facility in Oakdale, Louisiana before he was taken to the hospital. To make the situation worse, 5 other inmates in the same facility have now tested positive for the virus as well.
The Bureau of Justice has reportedly now instituted a mandatory 14-day quarantine for all inmates entering federal prisons. The number of people in federal prisons nationwide that have tested positive now stands at 14 inmates and 13 staff members.
This marks the first federal prison inmate in the country to die from the disease, but experts fear it won't be the last. Currently, the United States has over 2 million inmates in about 5,000 jails and prisons across the country - all living in relatively close quarters. If you consider prisoner transport and routine extraditions - this could spread extremely fast.