COVID-19 spreads to inmates at Drumheller prison | #emailsecurity | #phishing | #ransomware

The news comes after what inmates’ families described as a staff Christmas pot luck last month

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Seventy people at the Drumheller Institution have tested positive for COVID-19 as the virus has spread to inmates from staff members, the Correctional Service of Canada has confirmed.

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The federal agency told Postmedia 26 inmates and 44 staff members have tested positive. Eleven staff members have recovered from the virus so far.

Last month, 36 staff members had tested positive for the virus in the two weeks following what inmates’ family members described as a potluck-style staff Christmas party . No inmates had tested positive as of Dec. 26.

Family members said several new restrictions were imposed on inmates through the holidays to stop the virus’s spread, including the cancellation of in-person visits.

“My husband is there and he said that one of the guards told him directly that they had a big potluck,” said Nicole Friesen, a northern Alberta woman who had a New Year’s visit with her inmate husband cancelled, on Dec. 26.

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In early 2021, Drumheller Institution had one of the most severe COVID-19 outbreaks in any Alberta federal facility, with 181 positive cases in inmates. No inmate deaths were directly tied to that outbreak. The prison was locked down for more than two months, with inmate movement heavily restricted, sparking mental-health concerns  at the prison.

The prison, located about 130 kilometres east of Calgary, is a federal prison that can hold up to 582 medium-security inmates and 122 minimum-security inmates.

As of Dec. 20, 84.6 per cent of inmates at Drumheller Institution have been fully vaccinated, according to the Correctional Service. Staff members at the prison are subject to the vaccine mandate for federal employees.

Twitter:  @michaelrdrguez

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