Umatilla County’s two state prisons finished the first step of immunizing all adults in custody against COVID-19 by successfully offering the first doses to all inmates, according to spokespersons from the two prisons.
Two Rivers Correctional Institution in Umatilla finished offering first doses to all adults in custody at the prison on Wednesday, March 3, according to a TRCI spokesperson, which capped off initial vaccine efforts at the county’s two prisons.
In all, 1,263 inmates at TRCI were vaccinated of the 1,726 offered a shot. The prison held two large clinics and three smaller ones to vaccinate its inmates.
Prison officials at TRCI are now vaccinating inmates for a second time, with 195 having received a second dose already, the spokesperson said.
Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution in Pendleton finished its initial vaccination efforts on Monday, March 1, with 1,081 inmates taking the shot of the 1,618 who were offered one.
The prison has also begun vaccinating inmates with second doses. As of March 1, 155 inmates were fully immunized against coronavirus, according to a spokesperson from the prison.
The two facilities have completed the first round of vaccinations after enduring some of the largest COVID-19 outbreaks among prisons in Oregon.
At TRCI, 766 inmates have tested positive for COVID-19 since the pandemic began — more than any prison in Oregon. In January alone, 15 inmates who contracted the virus died. And among staff, 127 have tested positive, the second most in Oregon.
The prison suffered two months of rapidly surging case counts, with more than 600 inmates testing positive between December 2020 and February.
At EOCI, infection surged through the summer and fall 2020 seasons. With 458 inmates testing positive since the pandemic began, the prison has reported the third highest case count among Oregon prisons.
Four inmates who tested positive for COVID-19 at EOCI died.
In response, inmates from several state prisons filed a lawsuit against Gov. Kate Brown and other state officials, criticizing their response to outbreaks throughout the state’s prison system.
In February, a federal judge ordered the state to begin offering the vaccine to the state’s 11,000 adults in custody.
As of March 5, TRCI had just 15 active cases among inmates — a stark contrast to active case counts in January, which for weeks was upward of 250. EOCI did not have any active cases as of March 5.