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COVID-19 Outbreak at County Jail

25 people in custody infected

Officials Tuesday confirmed that COVID-19 has infected 25 people in custody at the Multnomah County Inverness Jail.

(AP) — Officials confirmed Tuesday that another COVID-19 outbreak at Multnomah County’s Inverness Jail in northeast Portland has infected 25 people in custody in the past month.

Those in custody at the jail were not taken to their court appearances Monday because of the outbreak, according to written notices posted at the Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse.

Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Chris Liedle told The Oregonian/OregonLive the outbreak started May 23 when a person lodged at Inverness who had been showing COVID-19 symptoms tested positive for the virus.

Liedle said almost all those who have since tested positive have had mild or no symptoms.

One inmate was hospitalized, Liedle said, but is now back in jail.

Liedle did not immediately specify the source of the outbreak.

He said inmates are regularly offered COVID-19 vaccines and that the county has reduced its jail population by one-third and increased COVID-19 testing.

The jail has had other COVID-19 outbreaks since the start of the pandemic. In April, 15 inmates who contracted COVID-19 while at Inverness sued the county and Sheriff Mike Reese, alleging the county failed to take proper safety precautions, denied inmates COVID-19 testing and mixed infected inmates and guards with those who were healthy.

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