The Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) announced on Thursday that five inmates at Saskatchewan Penitentiary, in Prince Albert have tested positive for COVID-19.
COVID-19 testing is being offered to inmates and staff. Employees are required to perform rapid self-tests and attest to a negative result in order to prevent possible spread at the institution. The number of inmate active cases currently reported for this institution are based on either rapid tests or PCR tests.
“This is an evolving situation and we continue to apply and reinforce infection prevention and control measures to prevent and contain the spread of COVID-19, and adapt based on public health advice,” the release said.
All staff are provided with appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including, for example, medical masks, respirators, and face shields. All inmates are provided medical masks and are encouraged to wear them at all times when not in their cells. Enhanced cleaning and disinfecting throughout the site is continuing.
“The health and safety of our employees, inmates, and the public continue to be our top priority. We are closely monitoring the situation, and measures are in place to minimize spread of the virus within the institution,” the release stated.
CSC has been vaccinating inmates since January 2021. All offenders, including new admissions to CSC, are being offered the vaccination at all institutions. As part of the ongoing vaccination process, a third dose, or booster, is also being offered.
All individuals entering the institution are actively screened and decisions regarding access to the site as well as programs and services are made in consideration of public health advice. In-person visits are temporarily suspended at the medium-security unit at Saskatchewan Penitentiary. During this time, other options are available to inmates to connect with their family and support networks.
They stated that they are committed to reducing the risks of COVID-19 in all of our operations. They will continue to work with the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), local public health, as well as unions, and stakeholders to take any further steps needed to ensure everyone’s safety.