Muskogee County Sees Significant COVID-19 Spike At Jail


Thursday, December 31st 2020, 6:11 pm
By: Amelia Mugavero


MUSKOGEE COUNTY, Okla. -

The Muskogee County Jail is dealing with its largest spike in COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic.

Since September, the Muskogee County Jail's regular testing found about one or two new cases per week, but this week, that number spiked to almost a hundred. Muskogee County Undersheriff Greg Martin said it's the largest outbreak they've had since March.

"We've recently tested 130 inmates and out of those 130 we had 95 positive cases with 35 negative cases," Martin said. 

Martin said not only are they seeing a spike in inmate cases, but 12 employees also tested positive. He said the jail has faced a lot of obstacles, including inmates not being able to properly social distance, and employees and inmates coming in from the outside.

"We are basically the same as a cruise ship, really when it gets down to it. We have 229 inmates. We're trying to keep as many people out of jail as possible as we can, but we still have a job to do to keep people safe and the judicial system continues to go on," Martin said. 

The jail has its first positive case in September after going months without any COVID-19 cases. After almost 100 new cases in just a week, jail staff said they are ramping up their safety procedures.

"Everyone has to wear a mask, and we encourage people to wear masks. Also, our Emergency Management has been instrumental to supply us as much equipment as we can and the disinfectant to kill the virus," Martin added. 

So far, there have been no reports of hospitalizations or deaths from anyone at the jail.