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Sheriff: COVID-19 Testing to Start at Tulsa County Jail Next Week

KWGS File Photo

While COVID-19 is spreading in jails, Sheriff Vic Regalado said Wednesday the Tulsa County Jail remains without a confirmed case.

Regalado said his office will start testing all existing and incoming inmates next week.

"The COVID testing will consist of nasal as well as saliva tests, and I hope that gives us an insight, especially as it concerns asymptomatic inmates," Regalado said.

The jail took in 910 new inmates last month, about half as many as it did for the same period a year ago. Regalado said the bookings were by and large for violent crimes with businesses closed and people told to stay at home during the pandemic.

"But as we continue into the summer months and as we continue to reopen, I believe we will see an increase that will effect our ability to run our safety pods within the jail, which, again, would negatively impact our ability to remain COVID-free," Regalado said.

The safety pods can be used to separate potentially infectious inmates from others.

Matt Trotter joined KWGS as a reporter in 2013. Before coming to Public Radio Tulsa, he was the investigative producer at KJRH. His freelance work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times and on MSNBC and CNN.
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