Mountain Institution in Agassiz. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Mountain Institution in Agassiz. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

59 inmates at Mountain Institution in Agassiz test positive for COVID-19

‘Enhanced cleaning and disinfecting throughout the site is continuing’

Fifty-nine inmates at Mountain Institution in Agassiz have tested positive for COVID-19, according to the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC)

“The health and safety of our employees, inmates, and the public continue to be our top priority,” according to a press release issued April 20. “We are closely monitoring the situation, and measures are in place to minimize spread of the virus within the institution.”

COVID-19 testing is being offered to inmates and staff, and employees are required to perform rapid self-tests and attest to a negative result in order to prevent possible spread at the institution.

According to the latest inmate testing numbers on the CSC’s website, 831 total tests had been taken with 35 positive cases and zero deaths. Three have recovered with 32 active cases.

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The number of inmate active cases currently reported for this institution are based on either rapid tests or PCR tests. The number may change as more testing is conducted and laboratory-confirmed results are available.

“This is an evolving situation and we continue to apply and reinforce infection prevention and control measures to prevent and contain the spread of COVID-19, and adapt based on public health advice.

“All staff are provided with appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) including, for example, medical masks, respirators, and face shields. All inmates are provided medical masks and are encouraged to wear them at all times when not in their cells. Enhanced cleaning and disinfecting throughout the site is continuing.”

CSC has been vaccinating inmates since January 2021. All offenders, including new admissions to CSC, are being offered the vaccination at all institutions.

“We are committed to reducing the risks of COVID-19 in all of our operations. We will continue to work with the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), local public health, as well as unions and stakeholders to take any further steps needed to ensure everyone’s safety.”

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