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Third Deer Ridge inmate dies after testing positive for COVID-19 – KTVZ

(Update: DOC says Two Rivers inmate 30th to die with COVID-19)

Outbreak at prison near Madras has eased, with 23 active cases

MADRAS, Ore. (KTVZ) — An inmate at the Deer Ridge Correctional Institution near Madras who tested positive for COVID-19 died Saturday at an area hospital, the Oregon Department of Corrections reported.

The adult in custody (AIC) was between 55 and 65 years old, the agency said in a news release. As with other COVID-19-related deaths, the DOC did not release additional details.

As with all in-custody deaths, Oregon State Police have been notified, and the Medical Examiner will determine cause of death.

He was the 29th state prison inmate to die who tested positive for COVID-19.

Later Saturday, the agency said an inmate at Two Rivers Correctional Institution in Umatilla died Saturday at a local hospital. The man, 75 to 85 years old, was the 30th state prison inmate to test positive for COVID-19.

For more information on COVID-19 cases inside Oregon’s prisons, visit DOC’s COVID-19 website. The agency is responsible for the care and custody of 13,000 adults in custody who are incarcerated in 14 institutions across the state.

According to the Department of Corrections’ COVID-19 tracker, there are 23 currently active COVID-19 cases among inmates at Deer Ridge, down from more than 100 reported during an outbreak last month. The number of self-reported staff cases has grown to 43.

The facility has had 243 positive COVID-19 cases to date and 1,472 negative test results. Like most state prisons, Deer Ridge is in Tier 4, with the entire institution in quarantine.

Overall, there are 544 active COVID-19 cases reported at state prisons, with 2,994 positive tests overall, 2,353 recovered inmates and 14,800 negative test results. Seventy inmates who tested positive have been paroled.

A total of 744 state prison staff have reported positive COVID-19 test results, with 567 having recovered.

Anyone entering DOC property is required to wear a mask or face covering in any indoor work setting or other indoor premises regardless of distance from others unless they are in a private, individual office not shared by anyone else; or they are actively eating or drinking AND at least six (6) feet of distance can be maintained between other people. Masks are mandatory at all times in many work areas.

Institutions continue to clean and disinfect numerous times a day. DOC asks AICs to report symptoms of COVID to medical staff.

Posters are in all DOC institutions encouraging individuals to maintain proper hygiene and to uphold appropriate social distancing to the extent possible.

Health screening processes are in place before staff are allowed to enter facilities. This screening includes a temperature check and a screening questionnaire. Visiting remains closed until further notice.

DOC has begun administering COVID-19 vaccinations – eventually offering them to all DOC staff, contractors, Oregon Corrections Enterprises employees, and adults in custody.

Prioritization of vaccines is determined by guidance from the Oregon Health Authority, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and the Governor’s Office.

Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, DOC issued a news release when an AIC passed away. This notification would include the person’s name, county of conviction, sentence length, and date of death.

However, no cause of death would be listed, because the medical examiner makes that determination.

“In order to balance the desire for transparency with our legal obligation to protect personal health information, we have changed the AIC death notification process when someone dies who has tested positive for COVID-19,” the agency said. “DOC is working with the Oregon Health Authority to publish COVID-19 related data and information on the OHA website.”

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