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New staff restrictions announced for Calgary Correctional Centre COVID-19 outbreak

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WATCH: As a COVID-19 outbreak continues to grow at the Calgary Correctional Centre, Alberta health officials have now mandated all staff to only go to work and otherwise isolate at home. Lauren Pullen reports – Oct 27, 2020

Alberta health officials have issued an order for the Calgary Correctional Centre, restricting staff movement as the facility grapples with a COVID-19 outbreak, hitting 68 cases Tuesday.

Read more: 123 people with COVID-19 are in hospital as Alberta updates data Tuesday

Effective Oct. 23, it is mandatory for all staff members to only go from home to work and nowhere else — they must isolate at home at all other times.

Alberta Health Services said the move is necessary to limit the virus’ spread while sustaining the facility’s operations.

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“Under the order, asymptomatic staff, who are otherwise required to self-isolate at home, are permitted to leave their home to work at the centre. All appropriate personal protective equipment is being provided for staff, and infection prevention precautions within the facility are in place,” AHS said Tuesday.

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“Asymptomatic staff from the facility are self-isolating when not at work to prevent community spread of COVID-19 and are not working in other locations at this time.”

Read more: COVID-19 cases at Calgary Correctional Centre more than double; numbers swell to 55

Safety is a huge concern for Scott Conrad, chair of Alberta Union of Provincial Employees Local 003, which represents the prison’s officers.

“Correctional officers at the Calgary Correctional Centre are concerned for their own safety, the safety of their families, friends and inmates after being ordered to isolate at home but to continue to go to work during the outbreak of COVID-19 at the facility,” Conrad said in a statement.

“Being ordered to isolate at home, have no interactions in public, but to continue to come to work is worrying. However, we are being professional and are doing everything that is asked of us to help keep Albertans safe.”