Advertisement

All inmates at virus-stricken B.C. prison to be tested for coronavirus: Fraser Health

The Mission Correctional Institution in Mission, B.C. is pictured Tuesday, April 14, 2020. COVID-19 has infected dozens of the inmates and correctional officers at the facility.
The Mission Correctional Institution in Mission, B.C. is pictured Tuesday, April 14, 2020. COVID-19 has infected dozens of the inmates and correctional officers at the facility. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Fraser Health says it is assisting with testing of all inmates and staff at the novel coronavirus-stricken Mission Institution.

Fraser Health president and CEO Dr. Victoria Lee said she believed the testing would include non-corrections staff such as maintenance workers.

“We are very keen to ensure we limit the spread on site as well as limit transmission in our community,” said Lee.

READ MORE: COVID-19 outbreak at B.C. jail declared over, federal prison outbreak grows: Dr. Bonnie Henry

The federal institution is the site of the worst COVID-19 outbreak in a Canadian prison, with at least 64 inmates and 11 staff at the medium security wing positive for the virus.

One inmate has also died due to what the Corrections Service of Canada (CSC) believes were COVID-19 complications.

Story continues below advertisement
COVID-19: Preventing prison outbreaks in Canada
COVID-19: Preventing prison outbreaks in Canada

As of April 16, the CSC said there were 298 inmates at the prison’s medium security site and 132 inmates at its minimum security site.

As of Wednesday morning, the CSC said 105 tests had been conducted at the medium security site and two tests had been performed at the minimum security site.

READ MORE: Issues continue to plague coronavirus-ravaged B.C. prison, officers’ union says

Lee said the prison remains in the jurisdiction of the federal government, but that Fraser Health had offered support in the form of testing, nurses and infection control specialists.

She said the health authority had also issued recommendations on cleaning, testing, cohorting of inmates and follow-ups with recently-released inmates.

Story continues below advertisement

At least one staff member at the federally-operated Fraser Valley Institution for Women has tested positive for the virus, as has a staff member at the provincially-operated North Fraser Pretrial Centre.

A single case of COVID-19 at the provincially operated Okanagan Correctional Centre has been declared resolved.

Global News has requested comment on the enhanced testing from the CSC.

-With files from Srushti Gangdev