544 Inmates Under Quarantine At Oklahoma Co. Jail

Monday, July 27th 2020, 10:36 pm
By: News 9

More than 500 inmates at the Oklahoma County Detention Center are under quarantine.

According to the Oklahoma County Jail Trust, 33 inmates have tested positive for the coronavirus since the start of the pandemic.

Since taking over in July, the jail trust said it has been keeping a close eye on the jail's numbers especially as cases surge across the state.

“We really have to stay on top of that it's very contagious. You can’t see it. It's like a ghost in the room,” said Oklahoma County Detention Center Administrator Greg Williams.

Williams said keeping an upper hand when it comes to COVID-19 is no easy task when you have people coming and going daily. 

“The last 27 days our average has been 80 to 90 inmates a day that come and go out of the center,” said Williams. 

Currently, 544 inmates are in quarantine.

Williams said a mass isolation to the medical pod can be triggered by even one symptomatic inmate.

“We had one guy that I'm familiar with that lived on the 10th floor and he started coughing and was running a temperature, and there was 122 people in that pod. As a result of him being suspected of being sick, we quarantined that entire pod," said Williams. 

He said while all inmates are receptive to undergoing testing, mandatory testing is something they've discussed before.

“We’d like for people to volunteer and people to cooperate with us, and you hate to mandate things and force things on people just because they are in jail,” said Williams. 

He said by keeping inmates COVID free, they can help keep more Oklahomans outside their walls from contracting the virus.

“We care about the population and the guys that are here. They all have family, and a large majority of these folk will be here a short time and then go back home and go out, so it’s a public safety issue,” said Williams.