2 more employees test positive for coronavirus at Mission Institution
The Mission Correctional Institution in Mission, B.C. is pictured Tuesday, April 14, 2020.
VANCOUVER -- Two more employees have tested positive for COVID-19 at Mission Institution, the federal prison that previously suffered one of the worst outbreaks in Canada's correctional system.
That outbreak, which lasted from early April until late May, infected a dozen staff members and 120 inmates, including one man who died in hospital.
But the latest cases are not considered a second outbreak, at least for the time being, according to Correctional Service Canada.
"We can confirm that two employees of Mission Institution have tested positive for COVID-19. It is important to note their duties did not require them to have direct contact with inmates," a spokesperson told CTV News in an email. "At this time, this is not considered to be an outbreak."
Infection and control measures are in place across the system, the spokesperson added, and all employees are screened before entering prisons.
"We are committed to reducing the risks of COVID-19 in all of our operations and keeping our employees, offenders and the public safe," she said. "We will continue to work with our public health partners, as well as engage with unions in taking the necessary steps to ensure everyone's safety.
The previous outbreak impacted roughly 40 per cent of the inmate population. Activists have called for an inquest into the prisoner's death, and the employees' union has said the prison was slow to implement physical distancing measures and other precautions.
The only federal prison to suffer a worse outbreak was the multi-level security unit at the Federal Training Centre in Quebec, where 162 inmates were infected and one died.
With files from CTV News Vancouver's David Molko