BOWDEN - A lockdown at Bowden Institution initiated earlier this month as a precautionary measure has ended with no confirmed reports of COVID-19.
The lockdown was put in place on March 17 after inmates showed symptoms consistent with influenza, according to Correctional Service Canada (CSC).
“After clinical assessment, symptomatic inmates were tested for COVID-19 and the results for those tests are negative,” the federal government agency confirmed in a statement dated Monday announcing the end to the lockdown
As of March 30, 16 COVID-19 tests have been administered at Bowden Institution and all 16 have come back negative for the virus, according to information provided by CSC’s Health Services.
In total, CSC's Health Services says 20 tests have been administered at four federal institutions in Alberta and all have come back negative as of March 30.
While the lockdown has ended, CSC continues to suspend visits to inmates, all temporary absences unless medically necessary, work releases for offenders, and all inter-regional and international transfers of inmates to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in federal institutions.
To help inmates to stay in touch with family while visits are suspended, CSC has waived deductions from inmate pay for use of the telephone system in federal institutions.
CSC says it has dedicated health-care services in its institutions and is prepared to handle cases of influenza and other respiratory illnesses such as COVID-19.
The federal agency says it remains in close contact with its public health partners and continues to monitor the situation and engage with authorities.
Contingency plans are in place in each of its operational units to respond to crisis situations and to deal with health emergencies. There are also preventative measures in place including hygiene precautions which include hand hygiene, enhanced cleaning, and proper laundry and waste disposal processes, according to CSC.
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