COVID-19 outbreak at Joyceville Institution near Kingston, 80 inmates test positive
KINGSTON -- Eighty inmates at the Joyceville Institution have tested positive for COVID-19, while eight cases at two other institutions are believed to be linked to the prison near Kingston.
In a statement to CTV News, Correctional Service Canada (CSC) says all employees and inmates will receive medical masks and face shields at the medium-security institution.
"We are monitoring the situation closely and diligently, and we continue to apply our infection prevention and control measures," said Correctional Service Canada.
"We continue to actively screen employees entering all our institutions, and, all employees and inmates in Ontario are being equipped with medical masks and face shields. In addition, testing has been offered to all staff and inmates."
Joyceville Institution is a medium-security facility located about 20 kilometres northwest of Kingston. Correctional Service Canada's website says the facility holds 450 inmates.
Five people have also tested positive at the Collins Bay Institution – Medium Security Unit in Kingston, while three people have tested positive at Warkworth Institution. Correctional Service Canada says the inmates at Collins Bay and Warkworth Institution who tested positive were recently at Joyceville and it appears they were exposed to the virus at the institution near Kingston.
"In addition, all inmates who were recently transferred out of Joyceville Institution are being medically isolated in their respective institution and monitored by staff," said CSC in a separate statement Thursday afternoon.
Word of the 80 cases of COVID-19 at the Joyceville Institution came on the same day Correctional Service of Canada announced all in person visits at all Ontario institutions and community correctional centres are temporarily suspended.
"This decision will limit comings and goings from its facilities. It follows extensive consultation with public health officials and will be reassessed on an ongoing basis," said CSC in a media release, adding inmates can connect with their family and support networks via video visitation or telephone.
Correctional Service Canada said health and safety measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 include wearing masks, physical distancing, active health screening of anyone entering an institution, and increased cleaning and disinfecting.