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Deer Ridge prison inmate with COVID-19 dies at hospital

Deer Ridge Correctional Institution near Madras
KTVZ file
Deer Ridge Correctional Institution near Madras

MADRAS, Ore. (KTVZ) -- An inmate at the Deer Ridge Correctional Institution near Madras has died at an area hospital after testing positive for COVID-19, the Oregon Department of Corrections said Friday.

The inmate, between 60 and 70 years old, died on Thursday, the agency said.

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

He was the 45th inmate (adult in custody, or AIC) to die who tested positive for COVID-19, the agency said.

Here's the rest of the Department of Corrections news release:

For current 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 12,000 adults in custody who are incarcerated in 12 institutions across the state. 

DOC continues stringent COVID-19 protocols. Anyone entering DOC property is required to wear a mask or face covering in any indoor work setting or other indoor premises. Institutions clean and disinfect numerous times a day.

DOC asks AICs to report symptoms of COVID-19 to medical staff, 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. 

DOC has offered COVID-19 vaccinations to all DOC staff, contractors, Oregon Corrections Enterprises employees, and AICs. DOC follows guidance from the Oregon Health Authority (OHA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Governor’s Office. 

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 works 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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