SALEM, Ore.-- The Oregon Department of Corrections confirmed Thursday an inmate with COVID-19 died at the Oregon State Penitentiary.
This is the first inmate to die in the prison system with the coronavirus. The Department of Corrections said the inmate is a man between 50 and 60 years old but officials did not confirm when he tested positive for the virus. The medical examiner still has to confirm the exact cause of death.
According to the Department of Corrections, there are 115 inmates at the Oregon State Penitentiary who have tested positive for the virus as well as 26 staff members. This is the highest cluster of cases in the state prison system. The second highest is the Shutter Creek Correctional Institution with 25 inmates and 3 staff members.
The ACLU of Oregon released this statement:
“Incarceration should not be a death sentence. COVID-19 is quickly spreading among people in prison and prison workers in Oregon. If these outbreaks continue to grow, people will continue to get sick and more people will die."