COVID-19 Cases Increase In State Prisons | KGOU

COVID-19 Cases Increase In State Prisons

Aug 31, 2020

There were at least 504 COVID-19 cases inside just one state prison on Friday. StateImpact’s Quinton Chandler reports nearly 900 prisoners are infected with the disease across the state and hundreds of test results are still pending.

COVID cases have skyrocketed at Eddie Warrior Correctional Center – a women’s prison in Taft. The prison has open dorms which Department of Corrections spokesperson Justin Wolf says has greatly contributed to the spread: "It provides different challenges and different exposure levels between the inmates." 

COVID cases are also growing inside the state’s largest women’s prison, Mabel Bassett, and inside Joseph Harp Correctional Center – a facility that houses many of the state’s mentally ill prisoners. The three prisons have been designated COVID hot spots. 

There have been at least 1,250 COVID cases among state prisoners since the beginning of the pandemic. The Department of Corrections reports at least 366 prisoners have recovered from the disease. 

The corrections agency’s COVID testing policies remain largely unchanged. The agency is still coordinating with the State Department of Health to determine which prisoners should be tested.   StateImpact Oklahoma is a partnership of Oklahoma’s public radio stations which relies on contributions from readers and listeners to fulfill its mission of public service to Oklahoma and beyond. Donate online.