ODOC downgrades SRCI’s tier status

This picture of Snake River Correctional Institution was taken from Stanton Boulevard, where it is located outside Ontario, on Aug. 26, 2020. The facility has been shuttered to visitation and other services since July 3, 2020 due to COVID-19.


For the first time since a brief stint from Dec. 31 to Jan. 13, Snake River Correctional Institution has been downgraded to a Tier 3 status related to COVID-19 cases at the facility. There have been no new cases at the facility since March 12, according to Oregon Department of Correction's online tracker. 

The outbreak at the facility was previously so extensive that aside from that brief break in December and now, the prison has been in Tier 4 status since July 3, 2020. The status is related to outbreaks of COVID-19 among staff and inmates, and closes the facility to visitation and volunteer-led services, as well as limits inmates’ movement throughout the prison.

If no new cases present between now and April 7, the prison may move into a Tier 2 status, and the lower it goes, the sooner the facility may be able to resume services, such as visitation.

More than two-thirds of the approximately 2,889 inmates housed in the facility are now vaccinated, according to an email update from Amber Campbell, public information officer, on Friday.

“Yesterday we administered an additional 371 vaccinations to Adults In Custody,” she wrote. “This brings our SRCI total to 2,016 AICs have both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.”

According to the Oregon Department of Correction’s case-tracker, there were only three cases in March, which include one inmate and two staff members, with the most recent positive case being an employee on March 12. No positive cases have been recorded since then.

To date, there have been 721 positive COVID-19 cases tied to the facility; this breaks down to 493 inmates and 228 staff members.

The facility remains closed to visitation, and when that will reopen is up to the Oregon DOC’s Agency Operation Center in Salem. 

Overall 11 inmates, between the ages of 50 and 85 at SRCI, who had tested positive with COVID-19 have died. Forty-two deaths overall in the state’s Department of Correction facilities have been tied to the virus.

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