BOWDEN – Two inmates have tested positive for COVID-19 at the medium security unit of Bowden Institution in Alberta. Correctional Service Canada (CSC) says the inmates are being medically isolated and closely monitored by staff.
Contact tracing is underway and testing for COVD-19 has been completed for inmates who reside on the same range as the positive cases. All results returned are negative.
There are no active cases of COVID-19 among staff at Bowden Institution.
Visits to the institution continue to be suspended to limit potential exposure for staff and offenders.
“We are monitoring this situation closely and continue to apply infection prevention and control measures to prevent and contain the spread of COVID-19,” said CSC in a statement Friday. “We continue to actively screen employees entering the institution, all employees and inmates are equipped with medical masks, and we have increased cleaning and disinfecting throughout the site.
“We are committed to reducing the risks of COVID-19 in all of our operations and keeping our employees, inmates and the public safe. We will continue to work with the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), local public health, the Canadian Red Cross as well as unions and stakeholders, to take any further steps needed to ensure everyone’s safety.”
Inmate testing numbers are updated daily from Monday to Friday and available on their website.
Bowden Institution is a medium-security facility with a minimum-security annex, located approximately 100 kilometers north of Calgary near the communities of Innisfail and Bowden. The medium security unit, where the positive cases have been identified, has a capacity of 470 offenders. There are currently no confirmed cases at the minimum unit.
Due to the fact that visits are temporarily suspended at Bowden Institution, other options are available to inmates to connect with their family and support networks such as video visitation or telephone.
CSC provides its own health care to inmates and has dedicated health care professionals in its institutions, including nurses and physicians, who closely monitor the health of inmates. CSC is also equipped to conduct its own testing and is working in close collaboration with its public health partners.