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COVID-19 outbreak that infected 120 inmates at Mission Institution declared over
VANCOUVER -- One of British Columbia's worst COVID-19 outbreaks is now over, health officials said Thursday.
The coronavirus outbreak at Mission Institution medium security federal prison began with just two positive tests on April 4, but soon ballooned to 132 total cases, including 120 inmates - roughly 40 per cent of the entire inmate population.
One inmate died from the virus, and the outbreak quickly became one of the worst in B.C. and one of the worst in Canada's federal correctional system.
In late April, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said the outbreak had left health officials "playing catch-up."
"It's a very difficult environment to effectively isolate people who are ill from others," Henry said at the time.
Eventually, every inmate at the facility was tested for the virus, with the last new case detected on May 1.
Now, after two full two-week virus incubation periods without any new positive tests, the outbreak is officially considered over.
Announcing the end of the outbreak Thursday, Henry commended teams from Fraser Health and the B.C. Centre for Disease Control for their efforts working with federal officials on their response to the situation.
"It took an incredible effort," the provincial health officer said. "The protocols that were developed have really been now expanded and put in place in federal correctional institutions across the country. I think that's a real testament to the amount of effort and expertise that we have in the province to support this type of outbreak response."