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2nd Oregon inmate dies after contracting COVID-19

COVID-19 (Titled)

ONTARIO, Ore. (AP) — State corrections officials say an inmate at the Snake River Correctional Institution in Ontario died Wednesday after contracting COVID-19.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports the death marks the second death of a person who tested positive for the virus in custody of the Oregon Department of Corrections. The first was an Oregon State Penitentiary inmate who died in May.

Officials say the inmate who died this week, a man between the ages of 60 and 70, was tested on Tuesday. His test results, which came back Friday, confirmed that he had contracted the virus.

The Department of Corrections did not release the man's name or background, or his exact cause of death. 

News release:

The Oregon Department of Corrections reports in-custody death with COVID-19
Oregon Dept. of Corrections - 08/14/20 12:42 PM

An Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) adult in custody (AIC) died on August 12, 2020. He was incarcerated at the Snake River Correctional Institution and passed away in the infirmary. He tested positive for COVID-19. He was between 60 and 70 years old. As with all in-custody deaths, the Oregon State Police have been notified and the Medical Examiner will determine cause of death.

For more information on COVID-19 cases inside Oregon’s prisons, please visit DOC’s COVID-19 website. The agency is responsible for the care and custody of 14,200 adults in custody who are incarcerated in the 14 institutions across the state.

Institutions continue to clean and disinfect numerous times a day. 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. Visiting remains closed until further notice.

DOC requires employees and AICs to wear masks if they cannot maintain six feet of social distancing. Wearing masks is mandatory in health services areas, some work areas, and in food services areas. Cloth masks have been provided to AICs and staff. If an AIC becomes ill and exhibits flu like symptoms, then CDC and OHA guidance for supportive care are followed. 

Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, DOC issued a press 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. DOC is working with the Oregon Health Authority to publish COVID-19 related data and information on the OHA website.

Article Topic Follows: Coronavirus

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