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Bowden inmate dies from ‘apparent’ COVID complications

COVID outbreak at Bowden Institution reported in late April of 15 inmates and 10 staff members
MVT stock Bowden Institution
Correctional Service of Canada is reporting an inmate has died from 'apparent' COVID complications. File photo/MVP Staff

BOWDEN – Two weeks after the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) reported a COVID-19 outbreak of 15 inmates and 10 staff members at Bowden Institution, an inmate has died from an “apparent” result of complications related to COVID-19.

The announcement of the May 11 inmate death was made this week on the correctional agency’s website.

CSC said the inmate’s next of kin have been notified of their death, and that condolences were extended to the deceased’s family.

“As in all cases involving the death of an inmate, CSC has notified the coroner who will review the circumstances of the death,” said the CSC online statement. “CSC has dedicated health services and medical professionals in all of its institutions. We also work closely and collaboratively with local public heath partners and hospitals to provide complete and quality medical care to those who need it and to prevent further spread of COVID-19.”

CSC said the Bowden Institution death is the sixth one related to COVID-19 among federally-sentenced inmates.

“The Privacy Act allows CSC to release certain information at the time of a death in custody,” said CSC. “To provide transparency during this pandemic, CSC is disclosing the deaths linked to COVID-19 while respecting privacy and the protection of personal information by not disclosing the name of the inmate or their personal medical details."

On April 29, CSC reported it was taking all “necessary actions” to deal with the COVID-19 outbreak at Bowden Institution, and that the matter was an “evolving situation”, and the government agency would continue to apply infection prevention and control measures to prevent and contain the spread of COVID-19.

The CSC website reported on May 13 the most recent vaccination clinics at Bowden Institution took place between April 22 and April 28. CSC is rolling out the second phase of its vaccine strategy in accordance with National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) guidelines, said the government agency.

As of May 13, the government agency is reporting 4,183 total COVID-19 tests at Bowden Institution with 37 positive inmate tests to date. One death has been reported. The CSC website also reports 23 recoveries, and 13 active cases. At the time of last month’s reported outbreak on April 29, the government agency reported 3,159 total COVID-19 tests at Bowden Institution, with 17 positive inmate tests, no deaths, two recoveries, and 15 active cases.

Bowden Institution is a correctional facility in Red Deer County with separate minimum and medium-security units. The medium security unit has a capacity for 470 inmates, while the minimum-security unit can accommodate up to 130 inmates. Family visits have been temporarily suspended at Bowden Institution.

As of the end of day on May 11, the Innisfail local geographic area -- which includes south Red Deer County and Bowden -- recorded its first COVID-related death, had 104 active cases, 334 recoveries and 439 cases since the pandemic began.

Johnnie Bachusky

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