The Correctional Service of Canada says five inmates have tested positive for COVID-19 in Quebec, Manitoba and Alberta.
It says contact 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.
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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 the early release of low-risk offenders, extended parole and alternatives for those awaiting trial or sentencing.
Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:
Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.
To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out. In situations where you can’t keep a safe distance from others, public health officials recommend the use of a non-medical face mask or covering to prevent spreading the respiratory droplets that can carry the virus. In some provinces and municipalities across the country, masks or face coverings are now mandatory in indoor public spaces.
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