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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The Oklahoma Department of Corrections and telecommunications company GTL have established an agreement to provide the state’s inmates with free calls during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last week, ODOC suspended all visitation and volunteer access to facilities to prevent the introduction and spread of the coronavirus.

Under the agreement, each inmate will receive two free five-minute-long phone calls each week.

GTL, which provides inmates with telephone services inside state facilities, will help ensure inmates’ connections with loved ones remain during the pandemic.

The agreement runs through April 14. 

ODOC is also exploring other ways to provide communication between inmates and their families.

ODOC staff members are also being screened daily for symptoms of COVID-19 when they arrive for their shifts. If they exhibit symptoms such as a fever, shortness of breath or a cough, they will be required to return home.

Staff inside those facilities are also prioritizing inmate sick call requests related to respiratory issues for signs of COVID-19.

A telephone line for DOC information related to the pandemic is 405-425-2556.