Heightened COVID-19 measures in Quebec federal correctional sites

News release

September 26, 2020 – Ottawa, Ontario – Correctional Service Canada

The Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) is taking additional measures to limit the potential spread of COVID-19 in its Quebec institutions and community correctional centres (CCCs). CSC is suspending visits at all of its sites in the province, as well as temporary absences and work releases from institutions.

This decision is a proactive and preventative measure given that community transmission of the virus has risen in recent days. It follows extensive consultation with public health officials and will be reassessed on a weekly basis.

Offenders will continue to participate in on-site programming and activities that support their rehabilitation. Health services will be maintained and temporary absences for medical and compassionate reasons will continue, as needed. Offenders are encouraged to continue connecting with their families and loved ones by telephone or video visitation.

All sites across the country have implemented extensive health and safety measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. These include wearing masks, physical distancing, hand hygiene, active health screening of anyone entering an institution, and increased cleaning and disinfecting. In addition, CSC has conducted infection prevention and control reviews at all of its institutions, built its own contact tracing capacity, and implemented comprehensive COVID-19 testing for inmates and staff.

The additional measures do not currently affect sites in other provinces. This is an evolving situation and we continue to work with public health authorities to monitor the situation and take additional actions, as needed.

CSC is committed to reducing the risks of COVID-19 in all of its operations and keeping its employees, offenders and the public safe. 

Quotes

“Today’s decision is a proactive one. When we started reinstating some activities at our sites, we were clear that we might need to make rapid changes to adapt to the evolving public health situation in different communities. Institutions are closed living environments and we have learned a lot about COVID-19 and how to mitigate its spread.”

“We recognize these measures may be difficult for offenders and their families. In all our operations, we must put everyone’s health and safety first as we work to provide offenders with the supports they need.”

-       Anne Kelly, Commissioner, Correctional Service Canada

Quick facts

  • There are currently no active inmate cases of COVID-19 at any of CSC’s 43 institutions. Inmate testing results are updated daily online.

  • There are 10 institutions and six CCCs in Quebec.

  • CSC has a proactive contact tracing protocol, which begins at the onset of symptoms rather than waiting for a positive test result. To date, CSC has trained over 250 staff to conduct contact tracing.

  • CSC has the appropriate supplies and personal protective equipment at each site, including masks, gloves, gowns and eye protection. 

  • All offenders and staff have been provided with non-medical masks and instructed on how to wear them.

  • A risk management framework and mitigation strategies, developed in collaboration with public health, labour partners and stakeholders, are in place to monitor activities. CSC is ready to adapt its operations at any time.

  • CSC communicates regularly with employees, inmates and stakeholders with a focus on public education and prevention.

Associated links

Contacts

Media Relations
Correctional Service Canada
613-992-7711
media@csc-scc.gc.ca

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