Correctional Service of Canada: Plans and preparedness for Wave 2

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Organization: Correctional Service Canada

Date published: 2020-11-26

Snapshot of federal correctional institutions:

  • CSC manages approximately 12,736 inmates in 43 correctional institutions across the country. 
  • Inmate testing results available online.
  • Conducted over 1600 contact tracing events.
  • CORCAN has produced over 730,000 non-medical masks.

Health and safety measures in all institutions

  • All sites across Canada have implemented extensive health and safety measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. These include:
  • Use of masks; physical distancing; hand hygiene; active health screening of anyone entering an institution; and frequent cleaning and disinfecting at sites.

Protocols in place when an inmate or employee is symptomatic or tests positive, including:

  • Medical isolation for inmates or self-isolation for employees, contact tracing and testing, as required.
  • Medical isolation is guided by health principles and defined in policy. 
  • PPE at each site, including masks, gloves, gowns and eye protection. 
  • Trained over 250 employees to do contact tracing. 
  • Ensuring that all recommendations from independent infection prevention and control (IPC) reviews conducted at all institutions have been implemented.
  • Working with the Canadian Red Cross on preventative and outbreak support.

Update on testing strategy

  • CSC recently received rapid COVID-19 tests that return results in less than one hour. Protocols for using these new tests are being developed in collaboration with PHAC & integrated into CSC’s testing strategy. 
  • Continue to offer asymptomatic testing & mass testing at outbreak sites for all staff & inmates.
  • To date over 40 sites have offered testing with many sites offering more than one round of testing.

Influenza vaccination

  • CSC is targeting to immunize 80% of the inmate population 65 years of age and older, as well as other higher risk groups.
  • Campaigns focus on ways to increase the uptake of the flu vaccine, including discussion with Inmate Committees and individualized engagement. 

Integrated Risk Management Framework (IRMF)

  • CSC’s decisions on operational activities are based on mitigation strategies outlined in the IRMF and each activity has a customized plan.
  • The IRMF has been developed in collaboration with labour partners and stakeholders.

There are five risk levels and here is what they mean:

COVID-19 in the Communty

Low Risk (Green)

  • Transmission is localized and contained.
  • Diligent infection prevention and control measures.

Caution Threshold

Moderate Risk (Yellow)

  • Local community transmission of virus as identified by local public health for which the epidemiology (who, when and where) may not be fully understood.
  • Reduced access to the site.

COVID-19 at CSC Facility

Moderate-High Risk (Orange)

  • COVID -19 transmission on site in an identified zone.
  • Reduced access to site.

High Risk (Red)

  • Site-wide transmission where source is unidentified.
  • Lockdown.

Management Early Response Committee (MERC) is convened at least every two weeks for all regions. Local public health and PHAC are engaged to help make recommendations on any changes to risk levels. The local institutional health and safety committee meets to review IPC measures and share information.

Sites may be at a different risk levels depending on the local circumstances. Heightened measures are in place for institutions experiencing an outbreak.

Facilities and supplies

  • Enhanced cleaning protocols at all sites, including disinfecting common areas and high-contact surfaces.
  • Equipped sites with cleaning supplies and hand sanitizer. 
  • Significant inventories of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in place and ready for use. 
  • Expanded the use of laundry bleach across sites and working to increase hot water capacity.
  • Completing a review of ventilation system air filters.

What’s next

  • Continued close monitoring of the situation across the country, in collaboration with public health. We are ready and prepared to take targeted actions, as required.
  • CSC continues to use its authorities for the safe release of offenders in order to reduce the spread of the virus in its correctional institutions.
  • Continued and frequent communications with employees, inmates, stakeholders and the public with a focus on prevention and transparency, including online publishing of daily inmate testing results.

Previous plans

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