Oklahoma prison agency reports a handful of Covid-19 infections as other state prisons see a surge

  • Quinton Chandler

Prisons in multiple states are finding more positive cases of Covid-19 as they ramp up testing.

Staff for the Marshall Project reported more than 9,000 people in state and federal prisons across the country have been infected and more than 140 people have died.

The total number of known infections more than tripled in one week.

By Wednesday of this week, at least 9,437 people in prison had tested positive for the illness. The number of new cases among prisoners is more than doubling each week, showing that the curve used to measure when the virus is under control is still soaring in prisons even as some parts of the country are starting to flatten the curve through social distancing.

According to the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, 549 Covid-19 tests had been conducted across the state prison system as of last week.

Only two Oklahoma prisoners have confirmed positive tests as well as nine employees. The results for 83 other tests haven’t been released yet.

Oklahoma’s Department of Corrections decides whether to test people on a case by case basis.

Editor’s Note: This story was updated to reflect an increase in the number of Covid-19 tests conducted in state prisons. The number of positive Covid-19 tests also increased.