Story at a glance

  • A third inmate at a Louisiana federal correctional center died from COVID-19.
  • This comes as the Federal Bureau of Prisons ordered the quarantine of inmates across the country.

While outbreaks of the coronavirus take nursing homes across the U.S. by storm, Louisiana’s Federal Correctional Institution Oakdale has reported its third inmate death as a result of a COVID-19 infection.

Local NBC affiliate KPLC reports that James Wilson, 57, went into respiratory failure on March 29. He was transported to a local hospital, where he later died.

Tests showed that he was positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, and was placed on a ventilator. Wilson had preexisting conditions before contracting the virus, a factor that likely made his case more severe. He was pronounced dead on April 1

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Wilson began serving a 135-month sentence on Sept. 14, 2015, for possession of obscene material and child pornography.

The other two inmates who perished in Oakdale were 43-year-old Nicholas Rodriguez and 49-year-old Patrick Jones. Both reportedly had underlying health conditions, and no other states with federal prisons have had coronavirus deaths, the Associated Press (AP) reported.

Currently, 11 other inmates at Oakdale have tested positive for the virus; 19 are in the hospital and are suspected of being infected; 32 are in isolation with symptoms; and 82 have been quarantined, according to the AP.


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Out of concern for situations like this, some states and cities, like California, New York City and New Jersey, all places recording massive amounts of coronavirus cases, have released nonviolent offenders to prevent new infections.

This comes as the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) announced on April 1 that it will secure inmates in assigned quarters for a two-week period to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus among people in close quarters.

The BOP said in the statement that they will try to ensure inmates have access to regularly scheduled and available programs, like mental health treatment and education.

As a state, Louisiana is seeing increases in confirmed cases of coronavirus and is expected to emerge as the latest hotspot for the virus. New Orleans, where there's been a spike in coronavirus cases, now has more deaths per capita than anywhere else in the U.S.

There are currently more than 217,000 coronavirus cases in the U.S., the most of any country. In Louisiana, more than 6,400 cases have been reported.


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Published on Apr 02, 2020