Prison remains on Tier 3 status through April 18

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.

ONTARIO

Snake River Correctional Institution is in Tier 2 status as it relates to the spread of COVID-19. It was moved into that category on April 19 and will remain there through at least Thursday, according to the latest update from Amber Campbell, public information officer. At that time, Oregon Department of Correction Officials will determine whether it stays in Tier 2 or gets upgraded or downgraded.

Since the onset of the pandemic, there have been 726 COVID-19 cases tied to the facility, with 232 of those being staff members. In the most recent months, the case rate has dropped significantly at the facility. In March, there were a total of five cases, with four of those tied to staff, according to Oregon DOC’s online COVID-case tracker. In April, there were only three cases, with two of those tied to staff.

The COVID-19 outbreak at the facility had been so extensive that aside from that brief break in December of 2020, the prison has been in Tier 4 status since July 3, 2020. As such, the facility has been shuttered to visitation and volunteer-led services, and inmates’ movement throughout the prison has been limited.

According to Oregon DOC’s tiered de-escalation protocol, a facility may move into a Tier 1 status if no new cases have developed among staff or inmates within the past 28 days.

More than two-thirds of the approximately 2,889 inmates housed in the facility were vaccinated as of the end of March.

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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