June 8, 2021

Since early May,  several adults in custody have tested positive for COVID-19 at both the Multnomah County Detention Center and Inverness Jail. 

Corrections Health began repeat testing of potentially exposed adults in custody after an adult in custody who had symptoms of COVID-19 tested positive for the virus on May 6 at the Detention Center. Since then, a total of 12 adults in custody at that location have tested positive. 

At Inverness Jail a total of 23 cases have been detected since May 24. 

All of those who tested in both jails had or have mild or no symptoms. There have been no hospitalizations or deaths.

Almost all of the cases were detected by repeat testing of people who were potentially exposed to a positive case, health officials say. The remainder were detected after being tested because they had symptoms. Corrections Health conducted at least 110 tests June 7, for instance.

Adults in custody are also offered a vaccine opportunity every week.

Because of the potential disproportionate impact of such a highly transmissible virus on people in custody, the County has also reduced the number of people in detention by one third. We have increased testing and increased surveillance and took these steps:

  • Adults in custody who have tested positive for COVID-19 are being watched closely with 24/7 access to medical care. 

  • Adults in custody who have been exposed to COVID-19 are being tested regularly so we can quickly identify new infections.

  • Anyone in the facility with symptoms is offered testing for COVID-19.

  • Staff at both detention centers continue to follow mask, distance and disinfection protocols.

  • Adults in custody are routinely offered vaccine for COVID-19. Since vaccines became available, the County has held 13 mass clinics at the jails and offer vaccines every week at each of the detention centers.

  • Both Multnomah County Sheriff's Office and Corrections Health staff have also had multiple opportunities to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. 

Health officials noted that COVID-19 is in our community and whatever virus or health issues are present in the community are present in the jail. The population is not static, there is turnover with people, vaccinated and unvaccinated, being admitted and released. The County is continuing to work to control spread and increase vaccination rates.