Twenty-three inmates and three correctional officers have now tested positive for COVID-19 at a B.C. prison.
The medium-security Mission Institution is the epicentre of the country’s worst prison outbreak of the novel coronavirus.
The prison has been locked down, and the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) says it is still waiting on the results from tests of 18 other inmates.
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Vancouver criminal lawyer Adrienne Smith is concerned the scale of the outbreak may actually be under-reported, saying that given the incubation time for the virus, the known cases could actually reflect the situation two weeks ago.
1:55COVID-19: Preventing prison outbreaks in Canada
COVID-19: Preventing prison outbreaks in Canada
Smith says the CSC should have been better prepared for the possibility of an outbreak.
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“This is something that we could have very much predicted,” Smith said.
“Prisons are very much like care homes in that they are places where folks are packed in closely together and workers come and go and can take COVID into the facilities and out.”