OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma Department of Corrections on Tuesday reported that two inmates have died due to COVID-19 and seven other deaths are possibly the result of the disease, which is caused by the coronavirus.
The cause of the other seven deaths are pending autopsies by the state medical examiner, according to DOC.
Of the department’s nearly 25,000 inmates, 3,168 have tested positive for the virus and 1,398 cases are currently active, according to DOC Director Scott Crow, increases of 554 positive cases and 414 active cases from Monday.
Crow said difficulty in achieving social distancing within prisons has contributed to the increase in positive cases in recent weeks, in addition to resistance to wearing masks.
“Sometimes, just as we see in the public, especially with our inmate populations, they’re averse to actually wearing masks” Crow said.
Crow and interim state health commissioner Dr. Lance Frye announced plans to implement mandatory testing of all the corrections department’s 3,300 employees.