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Five federal inmates test positive for COVID-19 as case counts spike across Canada

Last Updated Nov 11, 2020 at 11:08 am EST

The SARS-CoV-2 virus particles, which cause COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells cultured in a lab in a 2020 electron microscope image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-HO-NIAID-RML, *MANDATORY CREDIT*

OTTAWA — The Correctional Service of Canada says five inmates have tested positive for COVID-19 in Quebec, Manitoba and Alberta.

It says contract tracing is underway and testing is being offered at the three institutions affected.

The five inmates — two in Drummondville, Que., one in Stony Mountain, Man., and two at the Edmonton Institution for Women — are medically isolated and being monitored.

None of the federal facilities is currently allowing visitors.

As case counts spike across the country, the correctional service says it continues to screen employees and equip correctional officers and inmates with medical masks, on top of heightened cleaning measures.

The federal justice and correctional systems have taken several steps to reduce the number of people in custody to lower the risk of transmission, including early release of low-risk offenders, extended parole and alternatives for those awaiting trial or sentencing.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 11, 2020.

The Canadian Press