RED DEER -- A COVID-19 outbreak has been declared at the Red Deer Remand Centre.

As of Friday morning, there are 21 inmates and three correctional staff at the Red Deer Remand Centre who have tested positive for COVID-19. 

Alberta Health Services (AHS) said all inmates and staff at the facility have been tested, but will be swabbed again on Friday.

“Contact tracing for anyone potentially exposed to these individuals is ongoing,” AHS said.

The facility is on outbreak status meaning all inmates are cohorted together within their units and are being kept separate from others, so there is no further transmission. The inmates who have tested positive are under quarantine.

“Inmates continue to be released on their court mandated dates, and are advised by AHS staff to follow public health and safety protocols, including isolating at home if they are COVID-19 positive,” AHS said.

There are infection prevention and control measures in place at the centre including enhanced cleaning and PPE protection. Health teaching and mental supports are also being provided for both staff and inmates.

“Staff undergo COVID-19 symptom screening prior to each shift,” AHS said. “Inmates are monitored and assessed at minimum, twice daily by AHS staff.”

AHS said that all the inmates who have tested positive for COVID-19 are currently reporting only mild symptoms, if any at all, and all inmates are being offered a COVID-19 vaccine.