Inmate dies as COVID-19 outbreak at Mission Institution tops 60 cases
Published Thursday, April 16, 2020 11:00AM PDT Last Updated Thursday, April 16, 2020 6:33PM PDT
VANCOUVER -- An inmate from Mission Institution has died as the prison's COVID-19 outbreak continues to grow.
Correctional Service Canada said the inmate died Wednesday at Abbotsford Regional Hospital from "an apparent result of complications" related to the novel coronavirus.
The inmate's name has not been released, but officials said next of kin has been notified.
Meanwhile, B.C. health officials said the outbreak at the federal prison is worsening by the day, with the number of infections now topping 60 cases.
"This time last week we had heard about very few cases there," Health Minister Adrian Dix said. "It shows what can happen, and that’s why we have to be vigilant everywhere."
The Mission Institution outbreak is now the "third most significant cluster in all of B.C.," he added.
The latest tally is up from the 48 confirmed cases announced Wednesday, which included seven patients who had been hospitalized.
Dix offered the government's condolences to the family of the inmate who died, and said there would be additional COVID-19 fatalities to report on Thursday afternoon.
"We're obviously very concerned and saddened," he said. "We feel for them, we feel for their families today."
The inmate's death marks the first fatality among federal prisoners anywhere in Canada, according to correctional officials.
Health officials also announced Thursday that a staff member at the North Fraser Pretrial Centre has tested positive for the virus.
In a statement, Fraser Health said its chief medical health officer is "confident that the risk to the general public is low." There are no other confirmed cases among staff or people in custody.
With files from CTV News Vancouver's Maria Weisgarber