Deadly Weekend for COVID-19 Inside Oregon's Prisons

Jan 19, 2021

At least four Oregon prison inmates are suspected to have died since Saturday from COVID-19.

Deer Ridge Correctional Institution, near Madras, OR.
Credit Oregon Department of Corrections

Three of the inmates were at the Two Rivers Correctional Institution in Umatilla. The fourth was an inmates at Deer Ridge in Madras.

The Oregon Department of Corrections doesn’t release identifying information about those who die from COVID-19.

But the agency did say all four died at local hospitals and were between 55 and 85 years old.

Oregon has struggled with how to address COVID-19 in its prisons. So far at least 32 people in custody have died from the disease since the pandemic began last spring. At least 10 of those deaths have been this month.

In early December, several COVID-19 positive inmates were transferred from the Deer Ridge prison to the medical isolation unit at Two Rivers due to growing number of cases at Deer Ridge.

D.O.C. officials say the inmates were kept separate. Though after the transfers, the number of cases at Two Rivers grew significantly.