Alberta’s chief medical officer of health confirmed Friday that an inmate at the Calgary Remand Centre has tested positive for COVID-19.
“This is in someone newly admitted who was exposed before they arrived,” Dr. Deena Hinshaw said.
She said it marks the first confirmed COVID-19 case at any correctional facility in Alberta.
“The individual was admitted directly into the quarantine unit of the facility upon arrival,” Hinshaw said. “He did not report any symptoms upon arrival, and was quarantined with one cellmate who was quarantined at the same time and who also had no symptoms.
“The individual reported feeling unwell the following evening, at which time both he and his cellmate were placed in isolation and the symptomatic individual was swabbed.”
Hinshaw said all inmates at the facility are assessed for exposure and symptoms when they are newly admitted there or transferred from another facility, “as well as, at a minimum, once per day at the centre.”
“Any inmate who develops symptoms is moved to isolation,” she said. “Both of these inmates that I mentioned are now in isolation and the facility has proactively implemented outbreak processes as a precaution.”
Hinshaw added that most correctional facilities are quarantining new inmates for 14 days upon entry.
“This added measure allows for increased monitoring of new admissions for the development of symptoms before moving them on to other living units,” she said.
According to Hinshaw, correctional facilities have been working with Alberta Health Services to “ensure appropriate infection prevention protocols are in place at correctional facilities.”
“In this case, this work helped officials identify this infection early and when correctional staff reviewed video footage, it reinforced that appropriate health and safety protocols were followed,” she said.
“Alberta Health Services will continue to work with the facility to ensure all appropriate steps are taken to prevent the spread of the infection, and that these practices continue with the safety of staff and inmates as a priority.”
Watch below: Some Global News videos about concerns regarding the potential spread of COVID-19 in correctional facilities.