Deschutes Co. Jail COVID-19 outbreak increases to 13, inmates isolated

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The COVID-19 outbreak at the Deschutes County Jail increased to 13 inmates Saturday morning, according to Sgt. Jayson Janes.

The outbreak began the night of Tuesday, Sept. 7 when one person started showing symptoms, and five inmates initially tested positive.

Inmates who test positive have been isolated in a housing unit, and other inmates who have been in contact with them are staying in a separate housing unit.

Those who have tested positive are displaying minor symptoms, and do not need a higher level of care at this time.

They are being evaluated daily by the jail’s registered nurses, who use symptom assessments, over the counter medications, and vital signs.

“Since April, the jail has offered multiple COVID vaccine clinics to inmates in the facility in partnership with Deschutes County Public Health,” Janes said.

“We continue to extend the ability for Deschutes County Public Health to come to the jail every other week offering first and second doses of the vaccine to inmates.”

Around 10 inmates receive the vaccine at no charge during each of Deschutes County Public Health’s biweekly visits.

The jail is being kept at half capacity to allow for social distancing, but no inmates have needed to be transferred to any other locations so far.

Janes said staff has been using electrostatic sprayers to clean the space, along with sanitizing and disinfecting.

“Since the beginning of the pandemic the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Jail has been following all recommendations from the Oregon Health Authority (OHA), Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and Deschutes County Public Health,” said Medical Director Eden Aldrich.

“As this more transmissible variant has made it into our facility, we continue with regular communication with the OHA, CDC, and Deschutes County Public Health and will make changes to infection control procedures as recommended by these experts.”

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