5 OPSO staff members test positive for coronavirus, 17 results pending

5 OPSO staff members test positive for coronavirus, 17 results pending
Parish update related to COVID-19

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Five staff members from the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office received a positive coronavirus diagnosis, according to a report.

The five staff members were apart of a group of 24 tested for COVID-19. Two results came back negative and 17 of the staff still have pending results

Nine employees self-quarantined because they came into contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.

“The Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office has a plan in place for illnesses such as pandemic flu, which has been modified to better fit the recommended COVID-19 response procedures. We are in regular communication with the New Orleans Department of Health, the Louisiana Office of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to ensure that we are taking the necessary steps to protect the public, our staff and our inmates and minimize the spread of COVID-19," the report stated.

OPSO released a statement highlighting preventative actions their employees will follow. See the statement below:

  • OPSO staff are prohibited from visiting areas other than their designated posts.
  • At the OPSO entry screening point and before they enter the Orleans Justice Center, OPSO employees and contract personnel must self-report any contact they have had with an individual who has a presumptive positive or positive test for COVID-19.
  • All OPSO staff who call off-duty for potential COVID-19 symptoms for themselves or a family member are required to submit a medical clearance prior to reporting to their assigned post.

Employees of OPSO are not the only ones showing signs of coronavirus. Seven inmates are in isolation and pending the results from their tests.

The inmate population is 821 at Orleans Justice Center and the Temporary Detention Center has 45 individuals. OPSO released a statement detailing its prevention and treatment protocol at each OPSO facility to protect the inmates. See below for details:

  • OPSO’s medical department, Wellpath, developed a coronavirus screening process for all new arrestees, current inmates and anyone who enters our facilities. This screening includes temperature screenings with the latest technology and several targeted questions surrounding their activities and interactions over the past 14 days.
  • In addition to daily temperature screening, all inmates and OPSO staff undergo pulse oximeter checks daily.
  • All non-essential visits to OPSO facilities are suspended.
  • Attorney-client visits and inmates’ first appearances have shifted to video conferencing only.
  • Soap and other toiletries are available to inmates free of charge and staff is directing inmates to wash their hands frequently. The OPSO also upped supplies to sustain themselves.
  • Accommodations were made to quarantine any affected individuals in segregated cells. This includes inmates being treated for non-COVID-19 health issues.
  • OPSO staff is cleaning the facilities and hand sanitation stations have also been installed throughout the Orleans Justice Center.