Correctional Service of Canada takes steps to reduce risk of coronavirus entering prisons

The Correctional Service of Canada isn’t immune to a possible COVID-19 outbreak.

The federal agency says it is “prepared” to handle such an outbreak.

“CSC has dedicated health care services in its institutions and is prepared to handle cases of influenza and other respiratory illnesses such as COVID-19,” communications manager Kyle Lawlor said in an email to Global Kingston.

Lawlor also wrote that CSC is in contact with local public health departments across the country.

Dr. Kieran Moore, the chief medical officer for KFL&A Public Health, referred to those conversations in a Tuesday news conference.

“Our correctional facilities have taken our advice about screening their staff, minimizing visitors into their institutions.”

CSC is screening anyone entering one of its correctional facilities.

Lawlor also outlined several other steps the agency has taken, including suspending visits from the public and volunteers, work releases for offenders and all temporary absences, like day parole.

Family and friends of offenders can, according to Lawlor, communicate by phone or video visitation.

Lawlor also states CSC is working on other measures to allow inmates to communicate with people they know.

CSC has an Emergency Preparedness and Response Framework to plan for a possible COVID-19 outbreak.

Moore confirmed public health is working on a response plan with CSC.

“If there’s outbreaks within those facilities that’s something that’s something that concerns me and that we’re working with them carefully on.”

CSC says there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in any of its institutions.

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