The first recorded cases among the inmate population at Kent Institution has grown from two to 33 as of Jan. 3.
According to Correctional Service Canada, the date of the first positive during the current COVID-19 outbreak was recorded on Dec. 29. On Dec. 31, the CSC also reported 18 employees tested positive for COVID-19. 73 tests have been administered during the outbreak and a total of 499 COVID-19 tests have been administered at the maximum-security institution to date.
There have been no inmate deaths due to COVID-19 at Kent Institution, and the to-date total cases of COVID-19 among Kent inmates is 33.
“We are closely monitoring the situation, and measures are in place to minimize the spread of the virus within the institution,” the CSC said in a statement released Dec. 31. “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.”
Employees are required to provide a negative test result before entering the institution. All inmates and staff are equipped with masks, and the CSC reports there are increased cleaning and disinfection protocols are in place. Vaccines are offered to inmates at all federal correctional institutions.
As a result of the increase in COVID-19 cases, in-person visits are temporarily suspended at Kent Institution. The CSC says there will be alternative options available to inmates, their families and support networks.
In late March 2021, there were 10 employees who tested positive for COVID-19 at Kent Institution. CSC confirmed the employees contracted COVID-19 in the community rather than at the prison. At that time, no inmates tested positive for COVID-19.