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ODOC unleashes new protocol to combat COVID-19 virus

Friday, March 20, 2020

LEXINGTON, Okla. – Prisons are meant to protect the public. But it’s also the Department of Corrections’ obligation to keep staff and inmates safe. These days, the enemy is microscopic. Capt. Jesse Smith said, “Everyone sees the news and is worried about the virus, but when you walk into the facility and know it’s clean, you have less to worry about.”

Advanced disinfecting protocol begins at the doors of every DOC facility.

Prison staff are also required to practice social distancing -- a minimum of 6 feet -- when reporting for duty. Each employee must also complete a health questionnaire before entering the facility.

“If you’ve been potentially exposed or have any symptoms, and they are only allowing a certain number of people in the lobby at a time,” caseworker Cortney Garten said.

Every person entering the facilities also has their temperature checked.

To disinfect facilities, staff use “Tornado” disinfectant three times daily in all areas, including inside the housing units. It is an unprecedented sanitation effort.

“It kills everything,” Capt. Smith said.

These are extreme measures for extreme times. The Oklahoma Department of Corrections is on the front lines, aggressively battling COVID-19 from infiltrating our facilities.

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