COVID-19 update for correctional employees: September 11, 2020

This content is a message to Correctional Service Canada (CSC) staff from CSC's Commissioner.

This past Monday, we celebrated Labour Day. I would like to recognize the work you do for Correctional Servive Canada (CSC). Each person contributes to CSC's mandate and I appreciate your hard work, dedication and commitment. CSC accomplishes so much when we work together as a team.

Suicide prevention

Yesterday was ­­World Suicide Prevention Day 2020. In keeping with this year's theme of Working Together to Prevent Suicide, please take this opportunity to recognize those affected by suicide and learn more about how to prevent it. Each of us can make a difference in someone else's life by checking in on them and listening.

CSC has a Suicide Prevention and Intervention Strategy to address suicide and self-injurious vulnerabilities among federal offenders. Let's continue working together to provide:

  • awareness
  • understanding
  • training
  • treatment, and
  • resources

to those who may be affected by suicide

Maintaining good physical and mental health are essential. It is important to recognize the challenges of the work we do and to exercise self-care. There are also factors in our external environment, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, which can generate uncertainty and cause added stress in our professional and personal lives. Please continue to reach out to others and stay connected to your colleagues to support one another.

Run for Women

In keeping with the theme of mental health, Run for Women is an opportunity to walk or run to raise money for women's mental health. All registration fees go towards supporting mental health programs. The virtual run is taking place on September 27, in 18 cities across Canada. Participants can complete their 5K walk or 10K run at any point between September 17 and 27 and upload their results to the results page, and share them on social media.

Join the Correctional Services Canada team or contact Christina Burkill for more information.

Charitable campaign

As mentioned last week, today is the official virtual launch of:

More than ever, charities across our country are in need of our support. Please consider getting involved and donating during this year's campaign. Our CSC campaign team will keep you updated on events, activities and opportunities to get involved.

Workplace signage

If you are returning to work, whether at an institution, a community site, or an office building, you will notice changes as soon as you enter the building. There is signage in our workspaces to help everyone follow important infection prevention and control measures. Posters are at entrances reminding you not to come into a site if you are sick or have been in contact with someone that has COVID-19. There are also stickers in elevators and on the floors to remind you to keep a physical distance of at least two metres apart. You will see signs reminding you to:

  • put on your mask
  • wash your hands or use hand sanitizer, and
  • to disinfect your workspaces

Take time to stop and read the signs. We all have a role to play in keeping each other safe.

Help shape accessibility standards

Accessibility is about creating inclusive communities, workplaces, and services that enable everyone to participate fully in society. Approximately, one in five Canadians has a disability. When our environment has barriers, it can limit the ability of many to participate in activities or access services. Accessibility Standards Canada invites you to take its first online survey before September 18, 2020. Your feedback will be valuable in shaping their focus for Canada's future accessibility standards. 


Last Wednesday, on September 2, Collins Bay Institution welcomed the first dairy calf born on the farm since the CORCAN agriculture program re-opened at that site. In June 2019, six dairy cows were purchased as part of the agriculture program to provide offenders with the opportunity to work with livestock. The program's offenders and staff were present for the delivery and chose Olive's official name.

CORCAN also continues to produce products directly related to the COVID-19 response and contingencies depending on their set up and capacity including:

  • disposable masks
  • washable masks
  • gowns
  • bed linens
  • bath linens
  • clothing
  • pillows, and
  • mattresses. 

CORCAN is also developing other products. Examples include:

  • a desktop/countertop portable barrier
  • extension brackets and extension barriers for various workstations, and
  • a new washable mask with clear front panel to allow visibility of a person's mouth to facilitate communication

Mask safety

I would like to remind everyone that it is important to stay up-to-date on mask safety. Non-medical masks became mandatory in closed spaces in many jurisdictions. However, they are not regulated like medical masks and some types, such as those with exhalation valves, are not recommended and actually pose a risk to others by releasing potentially infectious droplets.

In our workplaces, non-medical masks should:Footnote 1

  • allow for easy breathing
  • fit securely to the head with ties or ear loops
  • maintain their shape after washing and drying
  • be changed as soon as possible if damp or dirty
  • be comfortable and not require frequent adjustment
  • be made of at least two layers of tightly woven material fabric (such as cotton or linen)
  • be large enough to completely and comfortably cover the nose and mouth without gaping

Please note that scarfs, neck gaitors/buffs, bandanas and other headwear are not considered a substitute for a properly fitted mask and should not be worn in the workplace. Their potentially loose fit may not adequately prevent the spread of virus particles and may pose a risk to others in our closed environments. They also pose an infection risk as they cannot be removed or worn in accordance with infection control and prevention principles. The Public Health Agency of Canada has helpful information on how to put on, remove, and clean non-medical masks:

I would like to thank you for your diligence in taking all the health precautions necessary to keep everyone safe and healthy. Remember that easing restrictions requires everyone's commitment. If we all do our part, we can greatly minimize the risk of COVID-19. 

I thank you for cooperation and for your hard work. I hope you have a great weekend!










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