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Prisoner tests positive for COVID-19 at Mountain Institution

Last Updated May 21, 2020 at 4:33 pm PDT

FILE - Specimens to be tested for COVID-19 are seen at LifeLabs after being logged upon receipt at the company's lab, in Surrey, B.C., on Thursday, March 26, 2020. The High Arctic may still be free of the novel coronavirus after all. A case of COVID-19 supposedly confirmed in the remote Nunavut community of Pond Inlet has turned out to be a false positive.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Summary

A prisoner has tested positive for COVID-19 at Mountain Institution

Two other prisoners were also transferred to Mountain, but have tested negative

The provincial health officer says health authorities and working with correctional services to prevent additional cases

AGASSIZ (NEWS 1130) — A prisoner has tested positive for COVID-19 at another federal institution in B.C.

The Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) has confirmed a prisoner tested positive at Mountain Institution Wednesday after transferring from Matsqui Institution, a medium-security prison in Abbotsford.


Two other prisoners were also transferred to Mountain, but have tested negative.

The infected prisoner had reported mild symptoms to a nurse when first arriving at Mountain Institution, says the CSC.

It also says strict cleaning measures are in place and contact tracing has begun, including testing all employees who came in contact with the prisoner.


Fifteen prisoners were originally transferred from Matsqui to Mountain, Pacific, and Kent Institutions, as well as Kwìkwèxwelhp Healing Village, all had been in isolation before the transfer.

Any other prisoners who came in close contact with those who transferred are also isolating as a precaution, according to CSC.

“All five sites have been thoroughly cleaned and common areas and high-contact surfaces were disinfected. As an added precaution, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is available and being used. Masks have been provided to all inmates and staff and they are required to wear them,” reads a statement from CSC.

The provincial health officer says health authorities and working with correctional services to prevent additional cases.

“This person was identified early and has very few risky contacts, so that’s good for us,” Dr. Bonnie Henry explains.

This comes after an outbreak at Mission Institution, which seems to be over, infected 120 prisoners and 12 correctional officers to date.


One of the prisoners died from the virus.

“We are closely and carefully following direction from public health officials, while following strict protocols to avoid further spread in the institutions. CSC is committed to reducing the risks of COVID-19 in all of its operations and keeping everyone safe. We have dedicated health care professionals available in our institutions with nurses and physicians, and the equipment needed to monitor, assess, test, and provide care to all inmates,” says the CSC.

-With files from Monika Gul