COVID-19 is now within the walls of the Trois-Rivières detention center: the Ministry of Public Security has confirmed that an inmate and a correctional officer have contracted the virus.
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“An inmate and a correctional officer tested positive for COVID-19. We have traced the possible contacts of the agent in question. Other employees have been removed as a preventive measure and we are awaiting the results of the tests, ”explained the national president of the Union of peace officers in correctional services, Mathieu Lavoie.
The Mauricie-Center-du-Québec Public Health, for its part, does not give the exact number of people infected and indicates that it is not an outbreak since the two cases are not linked. However, sources at TVA Nouvelles indicated otherwise.
“The inmate was at the Trois-Rivières hospital to receive treatment for a few days. When he arrived he received a negative result and before leaving the hospital he received a positive test. Then, when detainees receive treatment at the hospital, officers are on hand to provide constant surveillance. The correctional officer who was infected with the coronavirus is among those who guarded at the hospital. I’m not the one doing the epidemiological investigation, but there seems to be a cause and effect, ”Mr. Lavoie said.
Since September, cases have multiplied in various detention facilities in the province. Detainees are infected in Sorel-Tracy, St-Jérôme and Trois-Rivières. Then, staff tested positive in Trois-Rivières, but also in Quebec.
During the first wave, sources at TVA Nouvelles claimed that concern was growing.
There have been two suicides in a short period of time, and as of yet, it is impossible to say whether they are directly linked to administrative segregation linked to COVID-19, but employees admit that the measures imposed on inmates at risk of contamination were particularly difficult.
They had to remain in solitary confinement for 14 days in their cell without the right of exit or service. Since then, there has been a relaxation: despite the risks of contamination, the new detainees remain in isolation, but they are entitled to two showers per week and to one daily outing in the outer courtyard.
The epidemiological investigation by the CIUSSS de la Mauricie-Center-du-Québec is continuing. The toll could increase as the authorities await further results.