Secretary James M. Le Blanc
Date:  3/28/2020
Contact:  Ken Pastorick, Communications Director
225-219-0499 or 225-620-3728
DOC Inmate Tests Positive for COVID-19
DOC continues precautions to protect staff, inmates, and the public
BATON ROUGE, La. – The Louisiana Department of Corrections (DOC) has been notified that by the state testing lab that an inmate in a state prison facility tested positive for COVID-19. This is the first confirmed case within the DOC’s prisons. Due to HIPAA restrictions and security concerns, the DOC will not release the name of the inmate or the facility at which they are imprisoned. We will continue to closely monitor inmate health at all facilities. 

The inmate infected with the virus has been in isolation since testing and has been informed of the test results and the isolation protocols in place. State prison facilities are testing any inmate for COVID-19 who meets the testing criteria provided to the Department by LDH. All individuals in the inmate’s housing unit are in quarantine for a 14-day period, and are being monitored daily by the DOC for signs and symptoms due to the potential exposure. These individuals in quarantine have been directly informed of their potential exposure and of the precautionary measures that must be taken over the next 14 days to reduce the risk of additional exposure to other inmates and staff. The Warden of the facility has also informed the entire population and all facility employees of the positive case. Maintaining the safety, security, and well-being of our inmate population, staff, and the public remains the Department’s highest priority, and the DOC will continue to work closely with the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) to take necessary precautions to mitigate any potential spread of the virus. 

“Unfortunately, no one is immune to this virus,” said Secretary Jimmy Le Blanc, Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections. "Prison settings present a challenge when dealing with infectious diseases like COVID-19. The entire Department is focused on minimizing the potential impact of this disease on our correctional system. We understand that this is a very trying time for everyone in Louisiana including our those in our prison population and their loved ones. We are making every effort to ensure that inmates in our state prisons are informed and able to remain connected to their loved ones throughout this time."

The DOC has been actively preparing for the potential spread of COVID-19 throughout Louisiana, which allows the Department to quickly put in place necessary system-wide preventive measures and protocols to best protect staff and inmates. Countermeasures in place at minimum include screening of all staff prior to entering the facilities, increased sanitizing of facilities with CDC-recommended cleaning supplies, and the suspension of visitation, volunteering, tours and transfers between prisons. The Department is also minimizing internal transfers of inmates on a case-by-case basis. 

Stay informed on decisions affecting the state's prisons by visiting the Department's website at

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