Oregon Dept. of Corrections
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News Release
Snake River Correctional Institution reports in-custody death - 08/02/22

An Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) adult in custody (AIC) died August 1, 2022. He was incarcerated at Snake River Correctional Institution and passed away in the infirmary. He tested positive for COVID-19 and was between 80 and 90 years old. As with all in-custody deaths, the Oregon State Police have been notified, and the Medical Examiner will determine cause of death. Department-wide, this is the forty-ninth AIC to die who tested positive for COVID-19.

For current information on COVID-19 cases inside Oregon’s prisons, please visit DOC’s COVID-19 website. The agency is responsible for the care and custody of 12,000 adults in custody who are incarcerated in 12 institutions across the state. 

DOC continues stringent COVID-19 protocols. DOC properties with elevated risk status may require masks or face coverings in any indoor work setting or other indoor premises. Institutions clean and disinfect numerous times a day. DOC asks AICs to report symptoms of COVID-19 to medical staff, maintain proper hygiene, and to uphold appropriate social distancing to the extent possible. Health screening processes are in place before anyone is allowed to enter facilities.

DOC has offered COVID-19 vaccinations to all DOC staff, contractors, Oregon Corrections Enterprises employees, and AICs. DOC follows guidance from the Oregon Health Authority (OHA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Governor’s Office. 

Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, DOC issued a press release when an AIC passed away. This notification would include the person’s name, county of conviction, sentence length, and date of death. However, no cause of death would be listed because the Medical Examiner makes that determination. In order to balance the desire for transparency with our legal obligation to protect personal health information, we have changed the AIC death notification process when someone dies who has tested positive for COVID-19. DOC works with the Oregon Health Authority to publish COVID-19 related data and information on the OHA website.

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