COVID-19 update for offenders and their families: May 14, 2020

This content is a message to federal offenders and their families from Correctional Service Canada's (CSC’s) Commissioner.

I know that these have been challenging times for all of you given the measures we had to put in place for your continued health and safety due to COVID-19. I want to thank you for your ongoing cooperation - it is making a big difference.

In recognition of the continued impact this situation has had on our inmates, I have authorized the addition of two days of allowance to be included on your current pay period of May 11 - May 24, which will provide you with additional flexibility for your canteen purchases.

In terms of COVID-19, we are starting to turn a corner in terms of the number of cases we are seeing. We still have some active cases at three of our 43 institutions: Mission Institution in British Columbia, and Port Cartier and the Federal Training Centre in Quebec. However, out of the inmates that have tested positive for the virus since the beginning of the pandemic, over 60% of them have made a full recovery with more and more recovering each day. There are currently no cases among inmates in the Atlantic, Ontario and Prairie regions.

With different provinces starting to talk about their plans to lift restrictions around COVID-19, you may be wondering when we will reinstate visits, regular programs and activities. To look at this and shape our new normal, we have established a working group that will make decisions around how we phase back in programs and activities, the safeguards that need to be in place, and how it will roll out. The timeline around reinstating any activities will vary across the country, based on provincial and local circumstances and public health advice. Adopting a gradual approach to resuming any activities – including decisions around who can enter our institutions – is key to making sure we keep everyone, and their families, as safe as possible.

As part of our awareness and prevention efforts, we recently mailed handouts about COVID-19 to each institution. You will all get one. It includes helpful tips for reducing your risk of infection and self-monitoring your health. Please continue to wear your masks and practice physical distancing. If you experience any symptoms or have questions, please reach out to Health Services. They are there to help you.

This week is National Nursing Week. It is a good opportunity to thank our nursing professionals who are working tirelessly in each institution to keep you safe and provide any care you need. Take time to show your appreciation to our nurses and Health Services staff.

As always, thank you for your ongoing cooperation. As we all continue to do our part, I know that we will get through this challenging time together.

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