Lawton CCC a COVID-19 ‘hot’ spot

  • Oklahoma Department of Corrections photo                   The Lawton Community Corrections Center.

Lawton’s Community Corrections Center was declared a “hot” facility on Monday because of a coronavirus outbreak.

The state Department of Corrections designates one of its facilities “hot” when at least 20% of the inmate population that has celled housing, or 15% in a facility that has open-bay housing, tests positive for the coronavirus.

Systemwide, 6,855 of the 26,403 convicts in DOC custody – 26% of them – have tested positive for COVID-19.

The DOC reported 64 active, positive cases of COVID- 19 among state prisoners on Tuesday. The Lawton CCC accounted for 18 of them, 28% of the total. That was the highest number of infections in the state prison system.

Systemwide, 71 inmates were in isolation (including the 18 at Lawton’s CCC), 1,505 were in quarantine (17 of them at the Lawton CCC), six were hospitalized and 102 had been discharged from hospitals. The agency has recorded 43 inmate deaths since 23 July 2020, and medical examiners attributed 20 of those to COVID-19.

Of the agency’s 8,021 employees, 844 of them have tested positive; 107 were active as of Tuesday, according to the Corrections Department website.

The New York Times reported that coronavirus outbreaks have erupted in prisons, jails and detention centers across the nation. Affected states include Missouri, Wisconsin, Minnesota, 

Michigan, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, North Carolina, California and Pennsylvania. Ohio and New Hampshire called in the National Guard to help staff their prisons.

Research by the Times discovered more than 480,000 confirmed coronavirus infections and at least 2,100 deaths among inmates and guards. Nearly 100,000 correctional officers have tested positive for the virus, and 170 of them have died, the newspaper learned.