Inmates, staff of federal prison in B.C. get masks as authorities step up hygiene - InfoNews

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Inmates, staff of federal prison in B.C. get masks as authorities step up hygiene

The Mission Correctional Institution in Mission, B.C. is pictured Tuesday, April 14, 2020.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
April 26, 2020 - 1:00 PM

ABBOTSFORD, B.C. - Authorities at a federal institution in British Columbia say they have stepped up precautionary measures after more than 100 inmates were tested positive for the new coronavirus.

A news release from the Correctional Service of Canada says Mission Institution federal prison has added hand-washing stations, increased hygiene supplies throughout the institution, given masks to all inmates and staff and continues to disinfect high-contact surfaces multiple times a day.

On Saturday, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said a total of 106 inmates — including two in hospital — and 12 staff members tested positive for COVID-19.

She said health authorities knew it will be a challenge to effectively isolate people at the medium-security institution.

The facility says it has modified routines in the institution to respect physical distancing measures by "making every effort" to give inmates time outside of their cells.

It says it isolates inmates who are symptomatic or have tested positive to prevent spread to others, especially those who are older or have an underlying health condition.

The facility says it is working with an epidemiologist and public health authorities to implement advice on how best to cohort inmates.

"We now have a 24/7 nursing roster at Mission and a 7 day a week physician coverage, to provide ongoing care to inmates," it says.

It has also put in a call out to other staff who may want to work at the site to address staffing levels.

Henry said the province has conducted extensive testing within the correctional facility over the last few days and recorded 40 new cases.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 26, 2020.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2020
The Canadian Press

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