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3 inmates at Warkworth Institution test positive for COVID-19: Correctional Service Canada

Three inmates at Warkworth Institution have tested positive for COVID-19. File

Warkworth Institution is reporting its first cases of COVID-19 with three inmates testing positive this week.

According to Correctional Service Canada, the three inmates had recently transferred to the medium-sized federal prison from Joyceville Institution. At that prison, the CSC stated Thursday, there are 80 positive cases of COVID-19 among inmates and four cases among staff.

Another five cases reported at Collins Bay Institution Thursday were also recent transfers from Joyceville, the CSC said.

Read more: Corrections confirms 80 inmates, 4 staff members infected with COVID-19 at Kingston prison

The Haliburton, Kawartha Pine Ridge District Health Unit earlier this week reported an outbreak at a correctional facility in its jurisdiction but did not identify the location. The health unit serves Northumberland County where Warkworth Institution is located, about 60 km south of Peterborough. Warkworth Institution has 132 inmates, according to CSC data.

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All inmates who tested positive and their close contacts are being medically isolated and closely monitored by staff, the CSC said.

“These impacted sites have also modified their institutions’ routines for health purposes in order to mitigate any risk while contact tracing and the initial epidemiological investigation is being conducted,” the CSC stated.

All visitations to Ontario prisons were recently suspended. Inmates are able to access video calls or telephone to connect with their family and support networks.

Read more: Recent uptick in COVID-19 cases in Northumberland County ‘concerning’: warden

“We recognize the importance of strong infection prevention and control protocols to contain the spread of COVID-19 and are focusing on closely monitoring the situation,” the CSC stated. “CSC is working closely with its public health partners to contain the transmission of COVID-19 to the greatest extent possible.

“The health and safety of offenders, our employees, and the public remain our top priority throughout this pandemic. We are monitoring this situation closely and will continue to work with our public health partners, as well as unions and stakeholders to take any further steps needed to ensure everyone’s safety.”

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