New inmate at Central North Correctional Centre tests positive for coronavirus

With more than 190 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in correctional facilities across Canada, and the death of an inmate, calls are multiplying for the federal government to be more proactive in stopping the virus's spread behind bars.

A new inmate at the Central North Correctional Centre in Penetanguishene, Ont., has tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

“They were tested on the outside, and the results came in while they were incarcerated,” Richard Dionne, president of OPSEU Local 369, said, adding that the results came back Sunday.

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According to Dionne, the inmate indicated they were tested for COVID-19 prior to being admitted to the prison, so they were isolated from the beginning.

“We’ve had protocols in place for a couple months now — just all of our new admit are being isolated to a specific area when they’re coming in,” Dionne said.

“If anyone is showing any symptoms, then they’re moved to a different area.”

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Dionne said there aren’t other inmates being tested for the coronavirus in relation to the one positive COVID-19 case, but some inmates have been tested in the past due to symptoms they’ve exhibited.

“We have protocols in place just to ensure that we can prevent the spread, masks and PPE, so all that’s in place, and those protocols were followed,” he said.

Some staff coronavirus testing is being conducted this week, on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday

“That’s just based on the government’s announcement to increase testing numbers, and because we’re considered one of the at-risk professions, they’re conducting that testing right on site,” Dionne said.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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