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2 Oregon State Penitentiary inmates who tested positive for COVID-19 have died this week

Wednesday marks the 22nd death of an inmate who tested positive for COVID-19 while in DOC custody.

SALEM, Ore. — An inmate at the Oregon State Penitentiary who tested positive for COVID-19 died on Wednesday, Dec. 30.

The inmate was a man between 30 and 40 years old who died at the prison facility in Salem, according to the state Department of Corrections (DOC).

A medical examiner will be determining the cause of death.

This marks the 22nd death of an inmate who tested positive for COVID-19 while in DOC custody. 

It's also the second potentially coronavirus-related death of an Oregon State Penitentiary inmate in less than a week.  An inmate between the ages of 55 and 65 who tested positive died on Dec. 27.

Oregon prisons have been the sites of some of the state's largest workplace outbreaks during the pandemic, as social distancing and COVID protocols proved to be extremely difficult to follow. 

RELATED: Here are the 118 active COVID-19 workplace outbreaks in Oregon

The DOC received 400 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine on Monday with hopes to hoping to vaccinate a "small number" of adults in custody in the coming days.

The first round will mostly be distributed to medical providers, transport employees and staff members working on COVID-19 units. The rest, a "small number," according to a press release, will be given to adults in custody whose work assignments involve COVID-19-positive units.

There are more than 13,000 inmates across the state's 14 institutions.  

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