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COVID-19 concerns at the Tulsa County Jail

Posted at 9:45 PM, Oct 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-09 07:13:10-04

TULSA, Okla. — An inmate in the Tulsa County Jail gives an inside look at what it's like being locked up during a pandemic.

The inmate showed a family friend, Kathleen Repsher, what it's like being in a jail pod. Repsher shared that video with 2 Works for You. She's concerned the jail isn't taking care of sick inmates.

The inmate told Repsher there are about 67 men in a pod under quarantine and they're all now testing positive for COVID-19.

He said some are so sick they can't move and nothing is being done to help them.

"The nurse comes in and takes vitals and that's all she can really do," Repsher said. "There's no doctors in there. When you're that sick, you need fluids. No one's pushing fluids. No one's tending to them properly. It's bad."

Tulsa County Sheriff Vic Regalado couldn't confirm all tested positive. Regalado said he quarantined the inmates in that pod when there was a spike in cases.

"I can tell you with certainty, they are being monitored daily," he said.

For the entire jail, Regalado said 57 inmates tested positive, with 24 now recovered. He said no one has been hospitalized or died.

"Quarantining is part of the process," Regalado said. "It's a jail. Plain and simple."

When inmates are brought into the jail, they're quarantined and tested before being put with others. Temperatures are taken and they disinfect the building every day. Inmates are given PPE and hand sanitizer. The sheriff told us those who do test positive are put in a separate cell.

However, the inmates told Repsher a different story.

"They're not doing anything," Repsher said. "They're not sanitizing their stations, their bathrooms, their table, their bunk beds. Nothing's being sanitized in there."

She's also concerned inmates can't keep their distance, especially with their beds so close together.

Regalado said it's almost impossible to social distance in a jail.

"Our goal again was not to solve the puzzle and nobody get infected," Regalado said. "Our goal was to limit the spread, ensure proper treatment for those infected, and make sure that that spread does not go out into the community where we're taking up ventilators, bed space, and things like that from our citizens."

Regalado also said four jail employees tested positive for COVID-19.

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