Canada's first COVID-19-related death of a federally sentenced inmate occurs in Mission, B.C.

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      Amid an outbreak at a correctional institution in the Lower Mainland, the nation's first COVID-19-related death of an inmate at a federal facility has taken place in British Columbia’s Fraser Valley.

      Correctional Service Canada (CSC) announced today (April 16) in a news release that an inmate at the Mission Institution in Mission, B.C., died on April 15 due to complications related to COVID-19.

      Next of kin have been notified, and a coroner will investigate the circumstances of the inmate’s death.

      As of April 15, there have been 54 confirmed coronavirus cases at the medium-security Mission Institution. On April 15, B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry had stated that there were seven people from the facility in hospital.

      Dr. Henry had also previously stated on April 14 that the province’s mobile medical unit had been redeployed from the Vancouver Convention Centre (which has been prepared as a medical centre during the pandemic) to the Abbotsford area to assist with the outbreak at the correctional facility.

      According to CSC, there have been 54 positive cases in federal correctional facilities in B.C., with a total of 93 tests conducted (13 tests are pending), as of April 15.

      A total of 145 cases have been confirmed in federal correctional facilities across Canada.

      Meanwhile, on April 15, Dr. Henry had stated that in B.C., there was only one other case in a correctional facility in the province at the Okanagan Correctional Centre in Oliver, B.C. It was the first case, which Dr. Henry announced on April 2, within a correctional facility in the province.

      Throughout March, B.C. Corrections had reviewed and temporarily released inmates eligible for early release throughout March. 

      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook