Deep into its third week, the COVID-19 outbreak at Mountain Institution in Agassiz has grown slightly from 59 inmate cases to 66 inmate cases. One inmate is deemed recovered as of press time.
Correctional Service Canada announced the outbreak on April 20, at which point there were 59 inmates infected with COVID-19.
“The health and safety of our employees, inmates, and the public continue to be our top priority,” according to a press release issued April 20. “We are closely monitoring the situation, and measures are in place to minimize spread of the virus within the institution.”
Inmates and staff are offered COVID-19 testing with employees required to perform self-tests with a negative result in order to prevent spread through the institution. The number of active inmate cases are based on the results of rapid 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 CSC stated.
“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 Mountain Institution is one of two active CSC-based pandemics and one of six that took place in correctional institutions in 2022.
Earlier this year, there was an outbreak at nearby Kent Institution that peaked at more than 100 active inmate cases and at least 18 CSC employee cases. . There have been no local inmate deaths at Kent or Mountain Institutions or Kwìkwèxwelhp Healing Lodge; there is one inmate death in B.C. that took place at Mission Institution in early to mid 2020.
As of April 24, at Mountain Institution, 84.4 per cent of the inmate population has been fully vaccinated and 89.6 per cent are partially vaccinated. About two-thirds of the inmate population is fully vaccinated with one booster.
Province-wide, 83.4 per cent of inmates are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
– With Files from Paul Henderson