First inmate in Oregon prison system tests positive for COVID-19

An inmate at the Santiam Correctional Institution in Salem has tested positive for COVID-19, according to a press release sent by the Oregon Department of Corrections Thursday night. It’s the first adult in custody to test positive for the virus within the Oregon state prison system.

The Department of Corrections said the inmate tested positive on Thursday and is in stable condition. The inmate is being treated at the facility, but will be moved to an institution with 24-hour nursing care soon. No other information about the patient was released to protect their privacy.

Earlier this week, the Oregon Department of Corrections announced an employee at the Oregon State Penitentiary in Salem tested positive for COVID-19.

“Even with all of our preventative measures, like restricting visiting, social distancing and suspending any programs, we knew the first case was inevitable because our institutions are microcosm of our communities,” Director Colette Peters said. “Our agency has focused on this virus and how best to reduce the impact inside our institutions.”

The Department of Corrections will contact all people who have entered the Santiam Correctional Instituion within the last seven days. All of the 480 adults in custody at the facility will be screened and those with symptoms will be tested for COVID-19.




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