BATON ROUGE, La. (KLFY) — The Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections has suspended prisoner visitation and volunteering effective immediately through Aug. 16 at Louisiana’s eight state-run prisons due to the recent COVID-19 spike.

“The Department has taken this precautionary measure to protect its staff and prisoner populations and will review and reconsider the need for these measures on August 16, 2021,” stated a press release from the department.

Prisoners will continue to get two free phone calls per week to “ensure inmates have continued connection to family and friends during this event.” Video calling will also be available, but for a fee.

Visitors will be screened with temperature checks and questions, including staff and vendors. Staff who are sick are being reminded to stay home.

“Approximately 68% of inmates incarcerated in Louisiana’s state-run prisons have voluntarily chosen to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, and the Department continues to make vaccinations available to all inmates,” stated the release.

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