4th Oregon prison inmate dies of COVID-19

By Conrad Wilson (OPB)
Aug. 27, 2020 12:50 a.m.

It's the third inmate death in a month.

The Oregon Department of Corrections said Wednesday a fourth inmate in their custody has died from COVID-19 during the pandemic.

The inmate was serving their sentence at the Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution in Pendleton, the DOC said, and was between 65 and 75 years old. He died at a local hospital after testing positive for COVID-19.

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The person was the third inmate this month to die from the coronavirus and the second inmate connected to EOCI, where at least 215 people in custody have tested positive. More than 1,600 inmates there are under quarantine.

Inmates are at greater risk for contracting the disease because it’s difficult to create enough social distance in prisons, jails and detention centers to slow the spread of COVID-19. Some of the largest outbreaks in the country, and in Oregon, have been in correctional institutions.

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The Oregon State Police have been notified and the medical examiner will determine the official cause of death, DOC said.

So far, more than 630 inmates have tested positive for COVID-19.

On Tuesday, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said she would consider releasing more people in custody who are at the highest risk for significant illness related to COVID-19.




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