COVID LOCKDOWN – Inmates, Corrections Officers at Mission, Pacific Institution Test Positive

Mission – UPDATE APRIL 9 – A total of 14 inmates at Mission Instution have tested positive for COVID-19. On Wednesday, Correctional Service Canada placed the institution under indefinite lockdown. Pacific Institution in Abbotsford reported their first case on April 9.

UCCO Union of Canadian Correctional Officers issued a statement to FVN on Thursday afternoon confirming that 2 correctional officers from Mission Institution have also tested positive for COVID-19.

Kyla Lee of Acuman Law was quite blunt with her assessment on Twitter – And here we go. This is exactly what I was worried about. One case multiplies exponentially. Time to release people testing negative now, before they end up positive. A lockdown is NOT an appropriate way to deal with this. This isn’t a riot or security threat. Inmates shouldn’t be punished because Corrections didn’t take appropriate steps to protect them before this happened.

CSC is now posting on line, the numbers from all Federal Institutions.

As of April 9 in BC:

InstitutionPositive testsNegative testsPending testsTotal tests
Fraser Valley Institution for Women0303
Kent Institution0000
Kwìkwèxwelhp Healing Lodge0000
Matsqui Institution0000
Mission Medium Institution1412136
Mission Minimum Institution0000
Mountain Institution0202
Pacific Institution0101
Pacific Regional Treatment Centre1506
Pacific RRAC0000
William Head Institution0000
British Columbia total15122148

April 4 ORIGINAL STORY – Two inmates serving time at Mission Medium Institution have tested positive for COVID-19 and FVN has learned that two others are going through the tests. All are in isolation.

FVN learned about the positive tests in part, through a statement from UCCO – Union of Canadian Correctional Officers. The Institution is in lock down. This coming days after an inmate tested positive at Okanagan Correctional Centre. Okanagan is Provincial, Mission is Federal.

From UCCO –

Two inmates incarcerated at Mission medium Institution tested positive to COVID-19. The institution is now under lockdown to limit the propagation of the virus. 

The Union of Canadian Correctional Officer’s priority is the health and safety of its members. We know that personal protective equipment (PPE), such as masks and gloves, are a huge concern for our members. At the moment, PPE are available to our members that need to interact with the infected inmates but supplies are running low. PPE requirements to perform our work safely continue to be a source of anxiety among the membership.

Measures like those that have been implemented at Port-Cartier Institution should immediately be initiated in any of our institutions in which a COVID-19 case is confirmed, whether the case involves a staff member or an inmate.

Finally, the Union of Correctional Officers of Canada-CSN reiterates its request to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Bill Blair to provide each federal penitentiary with a sufficient stock of test kits to be able to test essential staff members who were deemed at risk, as a result of the contact tracing process.”

Rich Ghuman, UCCO President of crosstown Matsqui Institution expressed concern on Twitter:

FVN and chillTV have reached out to CSC Corrections Service Canada and the John Howard Society for comment.

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