Inmate, 2 staff test positive for COVID-19 at Willow Cree Healing Lodge

Correctional Service Canada (CSC) says an inmate and two staff members have tested positive for COVID-19 at a minimum-security facility for men near Duck Lake, Sask.

The offender at Willow Cree Healing Lodge (WCHL) is being medically isolated in a house-style residence within the institution, according to a press release on Thursday.

Read more: Inmates, organizations concerned as COVID-19 takes hold in Saskatchewan Penitentiary

CSC officials said the two employees who tested positive are self-isolating at home until cleared to return to work. They added that close contacts of the symptomatic individuals are also self-isolating and have been tested.

“We recognize the importance of strong infection prevention and control measures to contain the spread of COVID-19. We are monitoring this situation closely and diligently, and we continue to apply our infection prevention and control measures,” read a CSC statement.

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“We continue to actively screen employees entering all our institutions, and, all employees and inmates at WCHL are equipped with medical masks and face shields. We have also increased cleaning and disinfecting at WCHL.”

Read more: Inmates in Canadian prisons should get speedy access to coronavirus vaccine, advocates say

CSC said it’s working with the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and local public health authorities.

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There are currently 41 offenders at the facility, according to the press release.

At this time, CSC said visits are temporarily suspended at WCHL.

Duck Lake is approximately 75 kilometres north of Saskatoon.

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Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

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Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out. In situations where you can’t keep a safe distance from others, public health officials recommend the use of a non-medical face mask or covering to prevent spreading the respiratory droplets that can carry the virus. In some provinces and municipalities across the country, masks or face coverings are now mandatory in indoor public spaces.

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