3 inmates die, many more ill in COVID-19 prison outbreak

Two Rivers Correctional Institution in Umatilla

UMATILLA, Ore. (AP) — Two inmates at Two Rivers Correctional Institution in Umatilla and another at Deer Ridge Correctional Institution in Madras have died in the past week after testing positive for COVID-19.

That makes it at least five Oregon prisoners who have died since the new year in the latest surge of cases.

Two Rivers had 268 active cases among inmates as of Jan. 14, accounting for about half of all active cases among inmates statewide, according to Department of Corrections data.

The Deer Ridge prisoner died Saturday at a local hospital and was between 55 and 65 years old, the department said in a news release. In all 28 inmates have died statewide after testing positive for COVID.

The first Two Rivers inmate who died last week after testing positive was a man between 70 and 80 years old who died at a local hospital on Jan. 10, the Department of Corrections said.

The second inmate who died this week after testing positive was a man between 65 and 75. He died at a local hospital on Thursday, according to a new release from the agency.

Two Rivers has reported more COVID-19 cases among adults in custody than any other prison in Oregon since the pandemic began, with a total of 599, according to state data. Among staff, 107 have tested positive, the third most in the state.