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Inmate dies at Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution after testing positive for COVID-19

The man died on August 20 and was between the ages of 60 and 70, according to the Oregon Department of Corrections.
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Fence outside of a jail

PENDLETON, Ore. — An inmate has died at the Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution in Pendleton. He had tested positive for COVID-19.

The person died on Aug. 20 and was between the ages of 60 and 70. It is unclear if he died from complications from the virus or not. As with all in-custody deaths, the medical examiner has been alerted and will determine the cause of death.

As of Sunday, there had been 209 COVID-19 cases linked to the Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution, the largest workplace outbreak in the state. 

The man is the third inmate in Oregon's prison system to die after testing positive for COVID-19. The first death occurred in May at the Oregon State Penitentiary in Salem. The second death was at the Snake River Correctional Institution in Malheur County earlier this month. 

The second-largest active workplace outbreak in the state is at the Snake River Correctional Institution, where at least 207 COVID-19 cases have been connected to the prison. Another 185 cases have been tied to an outbreak at the Oregon State Penitentiary.

RELATED: Here are the 88 active COVID-19 workplace outbreaks in Oregon

The Department of Corrections (DOC) in Oregon is responsible for the care and custody of 14,200 adults in custody across 14 institutions.

According to a release from DOC, institutions continue to clean and disinfect numerous times a day. Posters are posted in all institutions encouraging inmates to maintain proper hygiene and uphold appropriate social distancing when they can. Health screenings are in place for staff before they are allowed to enter facilities. Visiting remains closed until further notice.

Wearing masks is mandatory in health services areas, some work areas and in food service areas. Cloth masks have been provided to inmates and staff. DOC said if an inmate becomes ill and exhibits flu-like symptoms, then CDC and Oregon Health Authority guidance for supportive care are followed.

CORRECTION: This story originally said three inmates had died after testing positive for COVID-19 at the Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution. Three inmates have died after testing positive in Oregon DOC institutions. This story has been updated to reflect the accurate information.


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