LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - On Wednesday 7news learned that over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, 18 inmates and 12 staff members at the Comanche Co. Detention center have tested positive for the virus.
The CCDC Jail Administrator said these positive cases date back to the end of March.
“Right now. 18 inmates are positive and quarantined and we have five officers at home,” said CCDC Jail Admin. William Hobbs.
Hobbs said the other 7 staff members are recovered and back at work.He said they aren’t able to pinpoint how the spread started, but it was always something he was concerned about.
“It’s hard to get them separated. If they are positive of course we quarantine them, but if they don’t have symptoms and aren’t positive, they are all housed together,” said Hobbs.
At the facility, they are struggling to separate the inmates, as they are operating at overcapacity, with 330 inmates inside when it should be around 280.
“I know they are doing their very best, but certainty it’s difficult, and we are seeing the result of that when you can’t put that social distance in plan, that virus is going to spread,” said Regional Health Department Director Brandie Combs.
As far as a new plan goes to stop the spreading, Combs said it will begin with facility wide testing Thursday morning.
“We are going to test the entire facility, inmates and employees,” said Combs.
And beyond that, Hobbs said all they can do is continue to separate as best they can, and wait on inmates to be moved.
“We do have seven inmates that are ready to go to DOC but they are still held here. We work with the DA’s office,. and those people that can be released, we will,” said Hobbs.
Combs said now the concern is just how high the total number is, or could be.
They will know the full scale of this outbreak over the weekend.
Some good news for those 30 positive cases, as Hobbs confirmed none of them needed any extended medical care.