COVID-19 outbreak declared at Millhaven Institution

Photo by Logan Cadue.

Correctional Service Canada (CSC) announced on Friday, Jan. 7, 2022, that four inmates at Millhaven Institution have tested positive for COVID-19. In-person visits to the correctional facility are temporarily suspended.

“We are closely monitoring the situation, and measures are in place to minimize the spread of the virus within the institution,” CSC said in a media release. “Contact tracing is ongoing and COVID-19 testing is being offered to inmates and staff.”

Employees at the institution are required to do a rapid test and provide a negative result before entering the site to prevent possible spread at the institution, according to the release. Inmate testing numbers are available on the CSC website. The number of active cases currently reported for this institution may change as more testing is conducted and laboratory-confirmed results are available, the CSC stated.

“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 and inmates are equipped with masks, and we have increased cleaning and disinfecting throughout the site,” CSC said.

All individuals entering the institution are actively screened, and decisions regarding access to the site as well as programs and services are made in consideration of public health advice, according to the release. During this time, options are available to inmates to connect with their family and support networks while in-person visits are suspended.

CSC said that they are committed to reducing the risks of COVID-19 in all of their operations and keeping inmates, employees, and the public safe. “We 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,” the agency stated.

CSC began vaccinating inmates in January 2021. According to the release, 67 per cent of inmates at Millhaven Institution are fully vaccinated and 73 per cent have received at least one dose. Vaccines continue to be offered to inmates, including new admissions to CSC. Third doses of the COVID-19 vaccine are being offered by CSC to all offenders in its institutions and correctional community centers across the country who had their second dose over five months ago.

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