COVID-19 outbreaks at multiple correctional facilities

Some outbreak sources are incoming prisoners and not spread within a facility, CSC notes

(Herald file photo)

At least three Saskatchewan correctional facilities have reported COVID-19 outbreaks in the past two weeks.

According to the list of COVID-19 outbreaks on the provincial government website, Saskatoon Correctional Centre, Prince Albert’s Young Offenders Youth Residence and Saskatchewan Penitentiary all have active COVID-19 outbreaks.

The Saskatoon Correctional and Saskatchewan Penitentiary outbreaks are both listed with a start date of April 17. The youth residence outbreak is dated to April 11.

According to the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) website, the latest outbreak at Sask. Pen dates back to April 8, and is ongoing. CSC lists 13 active cases within the Medium security unit along with one recovery. CSC notes, though, that some listed outbreaks are caused by cases detected from incoming inmates, and not from spread within an institution. Two of the Sask. Pen outbreaks fall under that category.

This is Sask Pen’s fourth outbreak, and the third in medium security. A severe outbreak in December infected 241 inmates and resulted in one death.

According to the CSC website, Sask. Pen is the only federal prison to face more than two outbreaks.

In Saskatchewan, correctional staff and teachers won’t be included as priority frontline workers for vaccines until vaccinations are opened to all residents over the age of 40, which is expected to occur next week.