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State increasing testing, hazard pay due to COVID-19 in correctional facilities

Posted at 11:38 AM, Sep 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-22 15:13:51-04

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — Governor Kevin Stitt, the Interim Commissioner of Health Lance Frye, MD and Scott Crow, the Director of the Department of Corrections gave a COVID-19 update on Tuesday focused on the State's response to coronavirus in Oklahoma's correctional centers.

Stitt said the state is increasing coronavirus testing for correctional center staff and officers, as well as increasing hazard pay. The Director of ODOC said they are placing an emphasis on mitigating the spread of COVID-19 in prisons by updating safety protocols.

This comes after the Oklahoma Department of Corrections announced inmate deaths possibly due to COVID-19. On Sept. 15, ODOC officials said they began to provide updated coronavirus testing numbers when medical staff collects them.

READ MORE: Two Oklahoma inmates die, possibly from COVID-19

Several families of inmates protested outside the Eddie Warrior Correctional Center in Taft, after a COVID-19 outbreak at the women's prison. More than 700 inmates tested positive at the center. In mid September, an inmate from the facility died in the hospital possibly related to COVID-19.

Watch the press conference below:

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