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CCC health officials address concerns of coronavirus in the jail

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CADDO PARISH, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – We know the coronavirus spreads through people in close contact so we wanted to find out how it’s being handled at Caddo Correctional Facility with its large population in close quarters.

The Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office said as of the start of April, they do not have any inmates at Caddo Correctional with the coronavirus. Anyone suspicious for it would be isolated to the infirmary until cleared by a physician or sent to Ochsner LSU. 

Health Director Sheila Wright said the facility is following the State Department of Health’s guidelines, along with the Department of Corrections and the CDC.

The facility closed to public visitation on March 11, Inmates can use video calls and have two free video calls per week. While hourly cleaning is taking place and areas are cleaned after each rec period before the next group of inmates are released. Inmates, staff, or professional visitors must pass a health screening before entering. 

“Whether it’s through booking, transportation, our administrative area, or the lobby, there’s a screening questionnaire. They also have their temperature taken. So everybody who comes into the facility is screened. If an inmate comes in and answers yes to the questionnaire and has a temperature of 100 degrees or greater then we put a mask on that patient and we do isolate them until they can be evaluated for further treatment,” said Sheila Wright, registered nurse and Health Services Director for Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies are allowed to wear personal protective equipment. They’re not being required for a roll call at the start of their shift and all information is being distributed through email. Earlier this week, the sheriff’s office said station-wide four deputies and two administrative deputies had positive results and some have since been cleared to return to work while the others are self-isolating. But for personnel and security reasons, could not release their specific work assignment showing if they worked inside CCC or not. 

Wright said staff starting their shift and officers from other agencies must undergo a temperature check before entering the facility.

“We’re doing everything in our power to keep the citizens that we protect safe as well as our staff as well as inmates at Caddo Correctional Center. It’s our responsibility to take care of these inmates and they are our patients and we take our jobs very seriously,” Wright said.

The Sheriff’s Office said they have other employees under self-quarantine due to exposure or who are waiting on results.

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