Wednesday, January 26, 2022

North Bay Jail to move inmates during COVID-19 outbreak due to staff concerns

‘The ministry is coordinating the transfer of a portion of the current North Bay prison inmate population to help reduce current staff absenteeism and maintain the safety and security of inmates who will be staying at the facility’

BayToday has learned from the Solicitor General’s Minister that more than a quarter of North Bay prison staff are currently self-isolating in their home related to the COVID-19 outbreak at the facility.

“The ministry is cautious about providing details on the absence of staff at provincial correctional facilities for security reasons. However, due to incorrect media reports in other media, the ministry feels compelled to confirm that approximately 30 percent of North Bay prisons (NBJ) staff are currently self-isolating at home related to the current outbreak at the facility,” said Andrew Morrison, Ministry of Media Relations, Solicitor General.

“The ministry is coordinating the transfer of a portion of the current North Bay prison inmate population to help reduce existing staff absenteeism and maintain the safety and security of inmates who will be staying at the facility.”

SEE RELATED: North Bay Jail Remains Open

Morrison says relocating NBJ inmates will help curb the risk of infection with COVID-19 at the facility and create additional capacity to manage close contact isolation requirements.

“Any COVID-19-positive prisoners transferred from the NBJ to other provincial correctional facilities will be placed on droplet and contact precautions and isolated from the rest of the prisoner population while they receive appropriate medical care. Verified in all Ontario adults Inmate COVID-19 cases are posted to correctional facilities online,” Morrison added.

Ministry working with North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit to support testing of prisoners and staff to help inform contact tracing and determine any isolation and further testing requirements for high-risk close contacts does.

Earlier this week, the health unit confirmed 60 cases linked to the outbreak at North Bay Prison.

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