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33 Oklahoma County Jail Prisoners Test Positive For COVID-19

At least 33 prisoners in the Oklahoma County Jail have tested positive for COVID-19 and the jail has quarantined over 500 prisoners as a precaution.

The increase in COVID-19 cases comes after the jail’s new administration increased testing.

Jail Administrator Greg Williams believes there was only one known COVID case when the Oklahoma County Criminal Justice Authority took charge of the jail from the county Sheriff’s Office on July 1.

"That’s what the staff and the inmates are telling me is that we’re doing a lot more testing," Williams said.

According to Williams, most of the 500 prisoners in quarantine could have had contact with prisoners who tested positive. Many are in quarantine because they refused to take a COVID test.

It’s unclear whether the jail can require prisoners to take the tests or if they have to get prisoners’ permission first. It’s a question Williams is trying to answer because he wants to test as many people as possible.

For now, he says they’re trying to get tests to any prisoner who asks for one.

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