24 inmates at Saskatchewan Penitentiary test positive for COVID-19

Correctional Service Canada said 24 inmates in a medium security unit at the Saskatchewan Penitentiary have tested positive for COVID-19. Thomas Porter / The Canadian Press

A coronavirus outbreak has been declared at the Saskatchewan Penitentiary in Prince Albert.

Correctional Service Canada (CSC) said 24 inmates in a medium security unit have tested positive for COVID-19.

Read more: COVID-19 outbreaks in Saskatchewan

CSC said the inmates are being medically isolated and are being closely monitored.

The medium-security unit has a capacity of 427 offenders.

No staff or inmates in the maximum and minimum units have tested positive, CSC said.

Officials added that contact tracing is underway and all staff and inmates at the federal facility are being offered COVID-19 testing.

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Read more: Saskatchewan restricting indoor gatherings to immediate household members

“We are monitoring this situation closely and continue to apply infection prevention and control measures to prevent and contain the spread of COVID-19,” CSC said Monday in a statement.

“We continue to actively screen employees entering the institution, all employees and inmates are equipped with medical masks, and we have increased cleaning and disinfecting throughout the site.”

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Visits at the institution are suspended and CSC said decisions regarding access to the site, along with programs and services, are being made in consultation with public health officials.

Saskatchewan correctional centres

There have been recoveries reported at provincial correctional centres, where several coronavirus outbreaks have been declared.

According to numbers provided to Global News by the Saskatchewan Government Employees’ Union (SGEU), 91 offenders at the Saskatoon Correctional Centre have recovered as of Monday.

SGEU, which represents staff at provincial institutions, said 34 employees have recovered at the Saskatoon Correctional Centre.

There are currently 67 active cases among offenders and 19 among staff. SGEU said another 14 offenders have been released with an isolation plan.

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At the Prince Albert Correctional Centre, one offender has recovered with 21 cases still active among inmates. SGEU said four staff members have recovered, with two active cases among employees.

There are currently six active cases among inmates at the Regina Correctional Centre, with one recovery and one offender released with an isolation plan, and five staff recoveries with no active cases, SGEU reported.

At Pine Grove, a women’s facility, three active cases and one recovery were reported by SGEU, with one offender released with an isolation plan. There are no active cases reported among staff and three recoveries.

Two active cases are being reported among offenders at youth facilities — both at Kilburn Hall in Saskatoon — and two staff members — Kilburn Hall and Paul Dojack Youth Centre in Regina.

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