Over 1,700 Umatilla County prison inmates quarantined as coronavirus cases rise

UMATILLA COUNTY, Ore. – Two prisons in Umatilla County are experiencing coronavirus outbreaks, and one of those is seeing one of the worst outbreaks in the state.

According to the Department of Corrections, as of Monday, Eastern Oregon Correctional Institute in Pendleton has more sick inmates than any other prison in the state – with 180 inmates testing positive. 16 staff members there have also tested positive.

Right now, Eastern Oregon Correctional Institute has all of their 1,628 inmates in a state of quarantine. That means for 14 days the only transfers in and out of the facility are for lifesaving healthcare.

Another facility, Two Rivers Correctional Institution in Umatilla, has also seen an outbreak among staff and inmates. In total there, 21 staff members and 8 inmates have tested positive. 117 inmates are in quarantine.

This comes as prisons across the country are being hit hard by the coronavirus, including at prisons in Washington state.

Prisons and nursing homes across the country seem to be particularity susceptible to spread. For example, in May in Arkansas, almost half of all of the state’s cases were in prisons and nursing homes.