Eighteen inmates at Joyceville Institution have tested positive for COVID-19, according to Correctional Service Canada (CSC). In-person visits are temporarily suspended at the institution.
“The health and safety of our employees, inmates, and the public continue to be our top priority,” the national correctional authority stated in a media release dated Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2022. “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, according to the release. CSC said that employees are required to perform rapid self-tests and attest to a negative result in order to prevent possible spread at the institution. Inmate testing numbers are available on the federal government website. The number may change as more testing is conducted and laboratory-confirmed results are available, 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,” the release continued. “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 said that they have been vaccinating inmates since January 2021. All offenders, including new admissions to CSC, are being offered the vaccination at all institutions, according to the release. As part of the ongoing vaccination process, a third dose, or booster, is also being offered.
“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,” CSC said. “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.”