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Middlesex-London Health Unit declares coronavirus outbreak at Elgin Middlesex Detention Centre

Razor wire fence lines the outside of the Elgin-Middlesex Detention Centre, a maximum security prison on Exeter Road, in London on Oct. 18. Andrew Russell / Global News

A COVID-19 outbreak has been declared at the Elgin Middlesex Detention Centre (EMDC) after four members of the staff tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

The Middlesex-London Health Unit declared the outbreak Monday afternoon after being informed of an initial case involving an EMDC staff member on Jan. 14 and three additional cases on Jan. 16.

The health unit said at this time no inmates have tested positive.

“The declaration of an outbreak is an indication that we have found evidence which suggests that transmission has occurred within a given setting, rather than through close contact with family members, friends or others,” says Dr. Alex Summers, associate medical officer of health with the Middlesex-London Health Unit.

Read more: Coronavirus — new U.K. variant of COVID-19 found in Middlesex-London

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The statement from the MLHU said because the virus was transmitted at the facility, there will be increased adherence to public health measures and a thorough cleaning.

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“When we declare outbreaks, it allows us to put additional resources to supporting the staff who are working within the facility, provide guidance on enhanced infection prevention and control measures and advice on environmental cleaning and disinfection,” Summers said.

Health unit case investigators continue to follow up with EMDC administration and staff at the centre and to provide advice and support to those who have tested positive.

Those who work at EMDC are advised to monitor themselves for COVID-19 symptoms and seek testing should any develop.

The health unit noted that there has been no risk of exposure for visitors to the EMDC.

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