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B.C. federal prison has highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada

COVID-19: Preventing prison outbreaks in Canada
Concerns are growing about the health and safety of inmates and workers in Canada's jails and prisons, with COVID-19 cases confirmed in multiple correctional centres. Ross Lord explains what advocates are calling for, before the situation gets worse.

A federal prison in the Fraser Valley has the highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada, according to government statistics.

Correctional Service of Canada numbers show the Mission Institution, a medium-security prison, has 11 confirmed cases of COVID-19. One test came back negative and results from 17 tests are pending.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: 2 inmates at Mission Institution test positive for COVID-19

There are no other positive cases in federal institutions in B.C.

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The Joliette Institution in Quebec has 10 cases and Ontario’s Grand Valley Institution has seven.

In all, 35 inmates at facilities across Canada have tested positive for the respiratory virus.

What has caused 11 cases at Mission Institution? It’s unclear because prison visits have been suspended along with work releases and group education programs.

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The union representing prison staff says 49 correctional officers across Canada have tested positive for COVID-19. All but one of the cases are in Quebec.

The Union of Canadian Correctional Officers has been asking for a different set of criteria for the testing of correctional officers, saying there may be a requirement to test employees who do not have symptoms but may have had contact with someone with COVID-19.

— With files from The Canadian Press