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COVID-19 case confirmed at federal prison in Agassiz, B.C.

A case of COVID-19 has been confirmed at the Mountain Institution, a federal prison in Agassiz, B.C.
A case of COVID-19 has been confirmed at the Mountain Institution, a federal prison in Agassiz, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

The Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) has confirmed a case of COVID-19 at the Mountain Institution, a federal prison in Agassiz.

The CSC says the patient is one of a batch of 15 inmates who were admitted to the Matsqui Institution on May 4, where they were undergoing a 14-day isolation period before being moved to other prisons.

It says three of those inmates were transferred to the Mountain Institution on May 18, where one of them reported “mild” COVID-19 symptoms to a nurse.

READ MORE: 38 inmates at coronavirus-plagued Mission Institution now recovered, officials say

All three inmates were tested, and one of them returned a positive result, says the CSC.

Calls for faster action to stop COVID-19 spread in prisons
Calls for faster action to stop COVID-19 spread in prisons

All 15 inmates who were admitted to the Matsqui Institution on May 4 have now been medically isolated, and broader testing is underway, says the CSC.

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The agency added that it has isolated those inmates’ close contacts, is conducting contact tracing, and has made it mandatory for staff and inmates to wear masks.

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

The CSC said Fraser Health is providing testing for staff at the Matsqui and Mountain institutions who came in contact with the inmates.

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COVID-19 has previously been confirmed at two other federal prisons in B.C.

A single employee was diagnosed with the disease at the Fraser Valley Institution for Women in Abbotsford. The Mission Institution saw 120 positive cases and one fatality.