UMATILLA — Two inmates at Two Rivers Correctional Institution in Umatilla have died in the past week after testing positive for COVID-19, according to press releases from the Oregon Department of Corrections, bringing the recent death toll spurred by the surge in cases at the prison to four since the beginning of January.
Data from the department of corrections as of Wednesday, Jan. 13, shows that 101 inmates and 24 staff members at TRCI have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past week.
The prison’s total number of active cases among inmates has also climbed to 258, according to state data as of Jan. 13. That’s the most among prisons in Oregon, with the second highest coming from Oregon State Penitentiary in Salem, which reportedly has 128 active cases among inmates.
Since reported COVID-19 cases began to spike among inmates at TRCI on Dec. 10, 2020, 494 have now tested positive, according to ODOC data. And since the beginning of December 2020, 74 staff have tested positive.
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 589, according to state data. Among staff, 107 have tested positive, the third most in the state.
The first TRCI inmate who reportedly died this week after testing positive for COVID-19 was a man between 70 and 80 years old who passed away at a local hospital on Sunday, Jan. 10, according to a press release from ODOC.
The second inmate to be reported dead this week after testing positive for the virus was a man between 65 and 75 years old who died at a local hospital on Thursday, Jan. 14, according to a press release from ODOC.
In all, 28 inmates in Oregon prisons have died after testing positive for COVID-19. And since the pandemic began, 2,961 inmates and 739 staff have tested positive.