More than 100 inmates, 90 employees test positive for COVID-19 at federal prisons in Quebec
MONTREAL -- More than 100 inmates and just under 90 staff members have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus in federal prisons across Quebec, according to Correctional Services Canada (CSC).
According to data released Sunday, inmate cases are concentrated in three facilities. The Federal Training Centre in Laval has 44, the Joliette Institution, a prison for women in Joliette, has 51, and the Port-Cartier Institution near Sept-Iles has 14.
Employees at the federal centres have also tested positive for the virus, with 10 confirmed cases at the Federal Training Centre, 49 at the Joliette Institution and 26 at the Port-Cartier Institution.
“It is important to note that if employees get tested, they do so in their communities,” CSC’s Martine Rondeau said in an emailed statement to CTV News. “CSC reports on confirmed employee cases of COVID-19 that are disclosed to us.”
CSC said it isolates inmates who show symptoms or test positive for the virus, and that there are dedicated healthcare personnel at their facilities who have the necessary protective equipment to monitor and treat inmates.
“Hygiene measures are in place to prevent the spread of viruses, and also cleaning, disinfecting, and proper laundry and waste disposal processes,” Rondeau said.
Though no other federal institutions in the province have reported inmate breakouts so far, there have been two positive tests among staff at the Donnacona Institution near Quebec City, and another two at the Drummond Institution in Drummondville.
No deaths have been reported in any of the facilities. CSC is reporting 10 recoveries among inmates at the Joliette Institution, and two at the Port-Cartier Institution.
“We are working closely with our public health partners to ensure that individuals who have symptoms and meet public health criteria for COVID-19 are being assessed and provided with immediate clinical interventions, including testing as needed,” Rondeau said.
According to the CSC website, health professionals are being hired to deliver essential services where necessary, telemedicine has been increased where possible, and protocols have been established with local hospitals for when inmates must be transferred to receive care.
Treatment plans for inmates with underlying health conditions are also being reviewed, as they are more vulnerable than the general population.