A COVID-19 outbreak has been declared at Matsqui Institution in Abbotsford. As of Jan. 19, 28 inmates have tested positive. (Abbotsford News file photo)

A COVID-19 outbreak has been declared at Matsqui Institution in Abbotsford. As of Jan. 19, 28 inmates have tested positive. (Abbotsford News file photo)

28 inmates at Matsqui Institution in Abbotsford test positive for COVID-19

All in-person visits are temporarily suspended, says Correctional Service of Canada

A total of 28 inmates at Matsqui Institution in Abbotsford have tested positive for COVID-19, the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) said Wednesday (Jan. 19).

The agency said they are closely monitoring the situation, and measures are in place to minimize the spread within the medium-security facility.

All in-person visits are temporarily suspended. The CSC said other options are available for inmates to connect to family and support networks.

The CSC said COVID-19 testing is being offered to all 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 press release states.

“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.”

ALSO SEE: B.C. reopening gyms, fitness on Thursday with COVID-19 precautions

The CSC said all staff are being provided with personal protective equipment, including medical masks, respirators, and face shields.

All inmates are provided with medical masks and are encouraged to wear them at all times when not in their cells, the agency said.

Enhanced cleaning and disinfecting throughout the sites is continuing, they added.

“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,” the press release states.

The CSC said, to date, 79.3 per cent of inmates at Matsqui Institution have had one vaccination, 75.4 per cent have had two doses, and 44.6 per cent have had three. The facility has a capacity for 438 inmates.

Meanwhile, a COVID-19 outbreak at Kent Institution in Agassiz has grown to 93 cases among inmates and 18 among staff.

RELATED: Kent Institution outbreak enters fourth week with nearly 100 inmate cases



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