COVID-19 outbreak declared at 3rd correctional facility in Fraser Health region
VANCOUVER -- A Fraser Valley prison that saw several inmates test positive for COVID-19 last week is now officially experiencing an outbreak of the disease.
Fraser Health announced the outbreak declaration in a news release Wednesday, saying nine people in custody at the Fraser Regional Correctional Centre in Maple Ridge, as well as two staff members there, had tested positive for the coronavirus.
As of Saturday, there were eight total cases at the facility, according to B.C.'s Ministry of Health. Seven of those who had tested positive up to that point were inmates and one was a staff member. At the time, Fraser Health had not declared an outbreak of the coronavirus at the facility.
"Fraser Health is working with BC Corrections and Provincial Health Services Authority infection control to support the site and manage the outbreak," the health authority said in its release Wednesday. "In addition, we are actively following up with any individuals who had contact with the individuals in custody at this location who have tested positive for COVID-19."
The health authority did not say why it waited until Wednesday to declare an outbreak at the prison.
Two other correctional facilities in the region are also experiencing outbreaks. As of Sunday, there were 21 people in custody and one staff member at the North Fraser Pretrial Centre in Port Coquitlam who had tested positive for COVID-19. There were also 39 people in custody and one staff member at the Surrey Pretrial Services Center in Surrey who had the disease.
In its release Wednesday, Fraser Health also announced a new outbreak at Glenwood Seniors Community, a long-term care facility in Agassiz.
Two staff members there have tested positive for COVID-19 and are now self-isolating at home, the health authority said.
"Fraser Health has worked with the site to support the implementation of enhanced control measures," the health authority said. "Fraser Health is also working with the site to identify anyone who may have been exposed, and is taking steps to protect the health of all staff, residents and families."
Among those enhanced control measures are restrictions on visitors and the movement of staff and residents throughout the facility, as well as twice daily screening of all residents and staff members for symptoms of the coronavirus.