Over 200 inmates at Larch Corrections Center test positive for COVID-19


Inmates have been placed on restricted movement and testing is ongoing, the state’s Department of Corrections said Monday

YACOLT — A COVID-19 outbreak at Larch Corrections Center has infected over 200 inmates, according to the Washington State Department of Corrections (WSDOC).

Larch Corrections Center near Yacolt. Photo courtesy Washington State Department of Corrections
Larch Corrections Center near Yacolt. Photo courtesy Washington State Department of Corrections

On Dec. 31, WSDOC said six inmates had tested positive at the facility near Yacolt. By Monday, the number had grown to 218, according to a departmental memo.

The facility, which has a maximum inmate capacity of 480, said that inmates who had tested positive were being quarantined together to help limit the spread and address space concerns.

Larch Superintendent James C. Miller said in a memo dated Dec. 30 that “we have reached a point in time in which we will have to take additional steps to limit the potential exposure of COVID-19 to the LCC incarcerated population.”

A Dec. 30 memo from Larch Corrections Center Superintendent James C. Miller detailed the COVID-19 outbreak which has now grown to 218 inmates. Image courtesy Washington State Department of Corrections
A Dec. 30 memo from Larch Corrections Center Superintendent James C. Miller detailed the COVID-19 outbreak which has now grown to 218 inmates. Image courtesy Washington State Department of Corrections

That includes moving to “Restricted Movement” status, limiting access to prisoner activities, call-outs, and other services. Regular testing was also planned, along with upgraded guidance for the use of personal protective equipment.

“We understand that this pandemic and the changes in our procedures can be stressful for the incarcerated individuals and their loved ones,” Miller wrote. “On behalf of the entire staff of this facility, please know that every step taken is to ensure those under our jurisdiction are safe and healthy.”

Larch Corrections Center, via Google Maps.
Larch Corrections Center, via Google Maps.

As of Jan. 4, WSDOC says a total of 4,894 inmates have tested positive, 1,792 of which are still considered active. That’s out of an average daily population statewide of 15,111. In addition, 863 prison staff have also tested positive.

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About The Author

Chris Brown comes to Clark County Today with 15 years of local news experience as a reporter, editor, and anchor at KXL News Radio and KOIN-6 TV in Portland. In 2016, he won an Oregon Association of Broadcaster's award for Best Investigative Reporting for a series on America's Violent Youth. He has also been awarded by the Associated Press for Best Breaking News coverage as editor of Portland's Morning News following the 2015 school shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. The second oldest of eight home-schooled children, Brown graduated from high school two years early. After several odd jobs, he earned an internship at KXL Radio, eventually working his way into a full-time job. Brown has lived in Clark County his entire life, and is very excited at the opportunity to now focus full-time on the significant stories happening in his own back yard, rather than across “the river.’’ After a few years in Vancouver, he recently moved back to Battle Ground with his wife and two young daughters. When he's not working to report what's happening in Clark County, Brown enjoys spending time with his family, playing music, taking pictures, or working in the yard. He also actually does enjoy long walks on the beach, and sunsets.

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