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March 26, 2023

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Virus outbreak at Larch Corrections Center climbs to 272 inmates

By , Columbian Assistant Metro Editor

The Washington State Department of Corrections reported Monday that 272 inmates at Larch Corrections Center have tested positive for COVID-19 to date. That number did not change Tuesday.

The number of positive cases among the inmate population was 265 on Friday.

On Dec. 31, the department reported that Larch had six incarcerated individuals who tested positive for the novel coronavirus. That number jumped to 218 inmates on Jan. 4 following mass testing at the prison the week prior. DOC reported 219 cases on Jan. 6.

All of the cases have occurred in the last 30 days.

The minimum-security state prison near Yacolt has a capacity of 480 inmates. However, there are currently about 300 housed there, according to DOC. Approximately 90 percent of the inmate population has contracted the virus.

According to a DOC bulletin issued Monday, Larch’s Silver Star Unit, Secured Housing Unit and visit room are being used to house COVID-19 positive inmates on medical isolation status.

A total of 24 staff members at Larch have also tested positive for the virus to date.

There have been no COVID-19-related deaths at Larch, according to DOC’s COVID-19 data.