More COVID-19 cases at Kingston correctional facilities

Editor’s note: On Dec. 29, 2020, Correctional Services of Canada reported 127 inmate cases of COVID-19 at Joyceville Institution and 8 cases at Collins Bay Institution. CSC subsequently corrected those figures to 128 cases at Joyceville and 6 cases at Collins Bay. We have amended this article to reflect the correction.

Two Kingston-area correctional facilities continue to grapple with outbreaks of COVID-19.

As first reported by Kingstonist on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020, the outbreak initially involved 77 inmates and four staff members at Joyceville Institution. As of Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2020, 128 inmates and 16 staff members have tested positive at Joyceville Institution. Six inmates have also now tested positive at Collins Bay Institution. Correctional Services Canada (CSC) says that the cases at Collins Bay Institution occurred as a result of inmate transfers from Joyceville Institution.

These results come after CSC conducted a total of 690 COVID-19 tests at Joyceville Institution and 925 at Collins Bay Institution. According to CSC, 81 inmates have since recovered since the initial outbreak, while 46 remain active cases.

Of the 16 staff at Joyceville who have tested positive for COVID-19, KFL&A Public Health says that five have resolved and 11 remain active.

In response to the outbreaks, CSC says it has limited comings and goings from its facilities.

CSC also says that all sites across the country have implemented extensive health and safety measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including increasing emphasis on wearing masks, physical distancing, hand hygiene, active health screening of anyone entering an institution, and increased cleaning and disinfecting.

As previously reported, CSC maintains its own Public Health Unit, and positive COVID-19 results involving inmates do not roll up into KFL&A Public’s Health’s public reporting. Instead, they are tracked separately and reported federally. Positive COVID-19 results for corrections staff, on the other hand, are accounted for in KFL&A Public Health’s reporting.

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