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Comanche County Detention Center Works To Contain COVID-19 Outbreak

The Comanche County Detention Center in Lawton has 18 prisoners and five staff members infected with COVID-19. Now, the state health department is testing all of its jail staff and 345 prisoners.

William Hobbs, the jail administrator, says more cases could be found as the health department ramps up testing.

"They could be negative today and positive two days from now," Hobbs said. "Just because you’re negative (doesn’t) mean you’re clear."

Hobbs says many of the prisoners carrying the disease didn’t show symptoms.

He says prisoners and staff have been given masks, soap and other supplies to help slow the virus down, but social distancing is difficult. The jail is overcrowded and Hobbs is short on space to quarantine people.

The first prisoner tested positive early last month. Since the start of the outbreak, a total of 30 people have become infected at the jail. Hobbs says seven have recovered.

Quinton Chandler worked at StateImpact Oklahoma from January 2018 to August 2021, focusing on criminal justice reporting.
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