At least four inmates at two provincial correction facilities in Saskatchewan currently have COVID-19.
The province’s Ministry of Corrections and Policing said there are also 12 active coronavirus cases among staff at five facilities.
The majority of the cases — 11 — affecting eight staff and three inmates is at the Saskatoon Correctional Centre.
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Two cases were reported at Regina Correctional Centre — one staff and one inmate.
One staff member at each of Prince Albert Correction Centre, Prince Albert Youth Residence and Paul Dojack Youth Centre in Regina.
Corrections staff are working with public health officials to carry out contact tracing and testing, the ministry said in a statement.
“All new admissions to provincial correctional facilities are being quarantined for 14 days,” continued the statement.
“All offenders who display symptoms are tested and required to isolate until the results come back.”
Officials said staff at all centres have been masking since the summer and that will now extend to inmates.
“Offenders are required to wear masks in certain circumstances, such as upon admissions, when they are moving within the facility, and when in isolation, assessment, and quarantine units,” said the statement.
“While the priority to date has been providing PPE to those (at) highest risk, all offenders will now receive masks.”
Corrections said while numerous precautionary measures, including enhanced cleaning protocols, have been in place since the start of the pandemic, more are planned.
“Recently, Corrections has established temporary contingency structures at Saskatoon Correctional Centre and Regina Correctional Centre to allow more flexibility in managing the offender population,” the ministry said.
“We expect these temporary structures to be operational in the near future.”