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Willow Cree Healing Lodge inmate with COVID-19 dies

Correctional Service Canada searching for Tailon Dillon, an inmate at Willow Cree Healing Lodge who failed to return after authorized absence. Supplied / Correctional Service Canada

Correctional Service Canada (CSC) says a Willow Cree Healing Lodge inmate who tested positive for COVID-19 has passed away.

The offender died on Jan. 23 at a community hospital as an apparent result of complications related to the novel coronavirus, according to a press release on Monday. CSC said it not releasing the name of the inmate from Willow Cree Healing Lodge, which is a minimum-security facility for men near Duck Lake, Sask.

Read more: Inmates in Canadian prisons should get speedy access to coronavirus vaccine: advocates 

CSC has said at least two people have died with a COVID-19 diagnosis among federally-sentenced inmates in Saskatchewan since the beginning of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

As of Jan. 24, the province had around 255 positive cases among offenders in four federal correctional institutions, according to the CSC’s website.

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“CSC has dedicated health services and medical professionals in all of its institutions. We also work closely and collaboratively with local public health partners and hospitals to provide complete and quality medical care to those who need it and to prevent further spread of COVID-19,” read a CSC statement.

“CSC protocol involves medically isolating inmates who show symptoms or test positive for COVID-19 to prevent the spread of infection. We have modified routines, and put in place measures such as physical distancing, hygiene practices, cleaning and disinfecting protocols, and education. All CSC workers and inmates are also provided with masks to prevent spread.”

Read more: Saskatchewan Penitentiary inmate dies due to COVID-19

CSC said it has notified the coroner who will review the circumstances as in all cases involving the death of an inmate.

Duck Lake is approximately 75 km north of Saskatoon.

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