New COVID-19 outbreak at Matsqui Institution in B.C.'s Fraser Valley
Published Thursday, May 21, 2020 3:29PM PDT Last Updated Thursday, May 21, 2020 4:56PM PDT
The medium-security Matsqui prison in Abbotsford, B.C. is seen in this Sept. 14, 2006 file image. (The Canadian Press / Richard Lam)
VANCOUVER -- Health officials are battling an outbreak of COVID-19 at another federal prison in B.C.'s Fraser Valley.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced Thursday that a single infection has been identified at the Matsqui Institution, a medium-security prison in Abbotsford.
"We are working very closely with our federal correctional colleagues and the Fraser Health Authority to make sure we're doing everything to prevent any additional cases in that facility," Henry said.
Officials did not reveal whether the outbreak involves an inmate or staff member, but said the infection was discovered early and that the individual "has very few risky contacts."
The outbreak was discovered a week after Fraser Health announced significant progress in battling the spread of COVID-19 at Mission Institution, which suffered one of the worst outbreak in Canada's correctional system since the start of the pandemic.
One inmate died and 119 others were infected, representing about 40 per cent of the prisoner population.
According to Correctional Service Canada, there is now only one active case at Mission. Health officials said the last new case was discovered at the prison on May 1.