Three staff members test positive for COVID-19 at Okanagan prison
The Okanagan Correctional Centre is preparing for possible evacuation due to a nearby wildfire.
VANCOUVER -- Three staff members of a South Okanagan prison have tested positive for COVID-19, marking a second outbreak at the facility.
The Okanagan Correctional Centre near Oliver, B.C. reported its first outbreak in April. In her daily briefing Thursday, B.C.’s top doctor qualified that outbreak as "small."
In response, however, the Interior Health Authority implemented outbreak protocols modelled after those at long-term care homes.
Dr. Bonnie Henry said, at the time, the possibility of a COVID-19 outbreak at a prison or jail was one health officials had been preparing for.
The first outbreak at the prison was declared over April 20.
In this latest incident, the staff were exposed to COVID-19 while at a two-day training session. Interior Health did not say where the exposure occurred other than to specify the training did not take place at the prison.
Interior Health says there is no evidence of community transmission at the prison.
"All necessary infection control precautions are in place at OCC to protect people in custody," Interior Health said in a news statement.
The infected individuals are in isolation at home and are being supported by the health authority.
Interior Health is also conducting contact tracing to identify anyone else who may have been exposed to the coronavirus.
The correctional facility shut down public visits March 12, according to Interior Health. New inmates are isolated for 14 days before they enter the facility.
In its latest update about COVID-19 in B.C., provincial health officials reported another 84 cases of the coronavirus.
As the late-summer surge in cases continues, B.C. announced at least 75 new cases per day on three consecutive days for the first time since the pandemic began.