Inmates being tested after 38 staff members test positive at Drumheller Institution

A total of 38 staff members at Drumheller Institution have tested positive for COVID-19 following a private event, officials confirmed.

Contact tracing is underway and mass asymptomatic testing is being offered to the inmate population at the medium-security prison about 130 kilometres northeast of Calgary.

Officials said on Monday no inmates had tested positive “at this time.”

“We take this situation seriously. This was a private event and we are looking into it further, including all of the circumstances,” read a statement from Correctional Service Canada (CSC).

“As an organization, everyone’s health and safety is a top priority and we want to ensure that we prevent any spread of COVID-19, especially as case counts continue to rise in communities across Canada. To this end, we encourage all of our staff to follow public health and safety measures at all times, in both their professional and personal lives.”

As of Dec. 20, 84.6 per cent of the inmate population has been fully vaccinated.

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, CSC has implemented rigorous infection prevention and control measures at its sites. We continue to communicate often with staff,” read the statement.

“This includes the importance of mask wearing (and wearing it properly). We continue to promote compliance with these measures both with staff and inmates. This includes actively screening anyone entering a CSC institution, physical distancing measures, masks for inmates and staff, frequent disinfecting and cleaning of highly-touched surfaces and common areas, and increased hand washing and sanitizing.”

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