Psychiatric patients in Louisiana demanding to release them due to coronavirus

Two patients at the state psychiatric hospital in the parish of East Félicien on Wednesday sued the state of Louisiana, asking for exemption in connection with the mass outbreak of coronavirus infection, which killed 9 patients. They claim that their rights are violated due to the fact that they were not discharged from the institution, the situation is «rapidly deteriorating» in the background of the pandemic. Reported by NOLA.

Storm Erie who was acquitted of arson with aggravating circumstances in New Orleans due to bipolar disorder and Glenn Stelli II who was diagnosed with schizophrenia, said that the state violates the Law about the Americans with disabilities, forcing them to stay in the hospital to Jackson, where they are not adequately protected from the deadly virus.

According to the lawsuit filed in U.S. district court in Baton Rouge, a hospital does not provide patients sufficient space for social distance. Also, the plaintiffs claim that the hospital in Jackson, which for many years was looking for state funding to repair their crumbling buildings, does not support basic hygiene and isolation of patients with coronavirus. According to them, the cleaning service became so rare that in sewage effluents grow insect larvae.

Patients at Louisiana mental hospital sue to be released due to coronavirus

— New York Post (@nypost) May 14, 2020

The health Department of Louisiana, which monitors the response of the hospital and staff on pandemic coronavirus, said on Wednesday that 183 patients out of 700 at the hospital contracted the coronavirus, 96 of them have recovered or are close to recovery. Nine patients died from Covid-19. The authorities claim that all infected patients were isolated. In addition, 55 staff have been infected, of which 41 recovered, the report said state.

Attorney Erie and Stelli, Andrew Bizer called the hospital «disastrous, outdated and rapidly deteriorating».

«If they really did what you were supposed to do, not just stockpiled these people and reintegrated them into society, there would be more beds and more space, said Bizer. — Even if there was no pandemic, they still had to do it.»

Storm Erie said that he had to share the hospital wing with infected patients in the last month, and according to Glenn Stelli II, he was given new roommates, when to his old contracted the virus.

Melanie Bray, the managing attorney of the society, «disability Rights» in Louisiana, told NOLA that patients be given a mask, but do not oblige them to wear.

The lawsuit States that the officers first tried to isolate patients with the virus, they eventually «they surrendered,» because more people received a positive test result for coronavirus.