By Kaylee Lindenmuth
HARRISBURG, Dauphin County - Wednesday afternoon, Pennsylvania Department of Corrections Secretary John Wetzel announced the immediate lockdown of all state correctional institutions, after staff members were reportedly sickened by unknown substances in recent weeks.
The announcement came hours after twenty correction officers and inmates at an Ohio prison experienced "possible opioid overdose symptoms."
“The safety and security of our employees is my number one concern,” Secretary Wetzel said. “Our state prisons, especially those in the western part of the state, have experienced recent incidents in which employees have been sickened and we need to get to the bottom of this issue now.”
As a result, Wetzel announced the department is taking the following steps:
“We will do whatever it takes to ensure the safety of our staff,” Wetzel said in a media release. “The steps taken today, in addition to those announced last week, demonstrate the Wolf Administration’s commitment to the safety and security of all commonwealth employees."
“The state’s Opioid Command Center is giving complete support to this action. And Corrections thanks all state agencies for their support, especially the Pennsylvania Department of Health, for providing additional gloves and personal protective equipment," Wetzel concluded.