Tenth prisoner who tested positive for COVID dies in Oregon


The latest death involved a man older than 75 who was living in the Snake River Correctional Institution

PORTLAND, Ore. (PORTLAND TRIBUNE) — Ten inmates who were sickened and tested positive for COVID-19 have now died, the Oregon Department of Corrections reports.

Officials say the latest casualty was a man between 75 and 85 years of age, who passed away in October at a local hospital near the Snake River Correctional Institution in Ontario where he was incarcerated.

Officials did not immediately respond when asked whether the man was tested for the novel coronavirus before or after he died. The Medical Examiner has not yet determined the official cause of death.

The DOC previously released the identity of all those who died in custody — but not the cause of death. Administrators say they cannot release any identifying information if they disclose health information, due to federal privacy laws.

Officials say all employees and adults in custody are required to wear masks if they cannot maintain social distancing. Cleaning and disinfecting regimens have also been stepped up, and all staff undergo a health screening before entering the work environment each day.

“This screening includes a temperature check and a screening questionnaire,” according to a news release. “Visiting remains closed until further notice.”

There are more than 14,000 inmates living in Oregon’s prison system. So far, 1,006 have tested positive for COVID and 884 have recovered. Among employees, there have been 263 coronavirus diagnoses and 243 confirmed recoveries.

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