Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw confirmed Monday there are 42 cases of COVID-19 at the Calgary Remand Centre.
In a statement to Global News Monday, Alberta Health Services said 41 inmates and one staff member have tested positive, with confirmed cases being isolated and monitored.
“All report mild symptoms, if any at all,” the health authority said.
“All inmates and staff have been tested for COVID-19. Contact tracing for anyone potentially exposed to these individuals in ongoing.”
On Nov. 6, AHS said three inmates at the remand centre had tested positive for COVID-19, and all cases were acquired in the community, adding there was “no in-facility transmission whatsoever.”
Since then, the facility has been put in outbreak status, and further protective measures are in place including the isolation of inmate units and banning any movement between units.
According to AHS, staff undergo COVID-19 symptom screening before every shift and inmates are monitored and assessed for symptoms at least twice a day.
AHS said “continuous health teaching and mental health supports are provided for both staff and inmates.”
This is not the first time there have been cases at the Calgary Remand Centre. In a press conference May 8, 2020, Dr. Hinshaw acknowledged a positive case at the facility as being the first instance of COVID-19 in a correctional facility in Alberta.
In late October, a Calgary lawyer shared concerns about outbreaks at other correctional facilities, highlighting the strain the cases put on the system. The Calgary Correctional Centre has been dealing with a coronavirus outbreak for weeks and earlier this month there were 112 positive cases among staff and inmates.
At the time defense attorney Adriano Iovinelli told Global News CCF inmates were opting to delay sentencing in order to stay at the Calgary Remand Centre doing so-called “hard time” — so they don’t have to go elsewhere to serve their time and be away from family.