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First coronavirus case confirmed at B.C. women’s prison

A corrections officer opens the door to a cell in the segregation unit at the Fraser Valley Institution for Women during a media tour, in Abbotsford, B.C., on Thursday October 26, 2017. .
A corrections officer opens the door to a cell 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

The first case of COVID-19 at a federal women’s prison in B.C. has been identified.

The Correctional Service of Canada confirmed an employee at the Fraser Valley Institution for Women in Abbotsford has tested positive for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

The employee is self-isolating at home, the CSC said. No further information could be provided about the employee, including their specific position within the facility, due to privacy reasons.

READ MORE: Lawyer alleges unsafe conditions, more COVID-19 cases than reported at B.C.’s Mission Institution

The Union of Canadian Correctional Officers told Global News it is not one of its members.

There are no positive cases listed among inmates at the Fraser Valley Institution for Women as of Friday morning’s online update.

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The prison shares the same property as the men’s Matsqui Institution and houses minimum-, medium- and maximum-security female offenders, with a rated capacity of 112 inmates.

COVID-19: Preventing prison outbreaks in Canada
COVID-19: Preventing prison outbreaks in Canada

It is the latest case of COVID-19 to be confirmed at a B.C. correctional facility.

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A major outbreak at the men’s federal medium-security Mission Institution has infected at least 63 and nine corrections officers.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: First federal inmate death reported at B.C. prison as case count climbs

One inmate from the Mission prison has also died of “an apparent result of complications related to COVID-19,” according to the CSC.

Single cases have also been reported at two provincially-operated facilities: a corrections officer at the North Fraser Pretrial Centre in Port Coquitlam and an inmate at the Okanagan Correctional Centre in Oliver.

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Editor’s note: The union representing correctional officers initially told Global News the case at the Fraser Valley Institution for Woman prison was one of its members. Now, it says that was an error. This story has been updated to reflect that information.