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Five guards at Mission prison positive for COVID-19

Citynews 1130 Vancouver

Last Updated Apr 12, 2020 at 7:53 pm PDT

FILE - Patches are seen on the arm and shoulder of a corrections officer in the segregation unit at the Fraser Valley Institution for Women during a media tour, in Abbotsford, B.C., on Thursday October 26, 2017. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Summary

35 inmates from Mission Institution also have COVID-19

The total is more than at any other federal prison in Canada

Mission is only prison in B.C. where guards have been confirmed to have the virus

MISSION (NEWS 1130) — Another prison guard at the federal institution in Mission has tested positive for COVID-19, according to figures released Easter Sunday by the union representing them.

That brings to the total number of guards there who have contracted the novel coronavirus to five, in addition to 35 inmates.

The latter is more than at any other federal prison in Canada.

Ten of the 35 inmates tested positive earlier Sunday. Another 13 inmate tests are pending, while six have come back negative, according to Correctional Service Canada.

At Pacific Regional Treatment Centre, another federal prison in Abbotsford, one inmate has contracted COVID-19, with five tested negative.

The Joliette Institution for Women in Quebec has had the second most positive tests among inmates, with 17,

Thirty-eight correctional officers from the same institution have also tested positive for COVID-19, according to an email from Samuel Courtemanche, with Union of Canadian Correctional Officers..

Another 18 correctional officers from the Port-Cartier Institution in Quebec have also tested positive, as have three at two more prisons in Ontario.

Port-Cartier Institution has also had 10 inmates test positive, while eight have at the Grand Valley Institution for Women, also in Onatrio.

The Mission Institution, which has medium- and minimum-security facilities, is the only federal prison in B.C. where guards have been confirmed to have the virus.

The prison has a capacity of 216, and as of Sunday, 16 per cent of inmates at the prison now have the virus.

Earlier this week, an infectious disease doctor warned of an “explosive outbreak” at Mission Institution if more wasn’t done to contain the virus.

On Saturday, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said five of the inmates were being hospitalized.

She added the province is working closely with federal counterparts to deal with a COVID-19 outbreak at the Mission federal prison.

Editor’s note: This story initially reported that nine inmates at Mission Institution had tested positive.