‘It’s mind-boggling’: COVID-19 cases continue to climb at Calgary Remand Center

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A Calgary law student voices concerns about the outbreak at the Calgary remand center after two of his clients tested positive for COVID-19.
«JEIt is mind boggling. I am concerned for their well-being, ”said Chad Haggerty of law firm Craig Hooker Shiskin. ” It’s not just the fear of death, it’s the fear of long term health complications from (COVID-19). ”

Haggerty said he had about half a dozen clients at the remand center and that so far two of them have tested positive for the new coronavirus and are showing mild symptoms.

«Both (inmates) tested negative and then transferred someone to their cell, ”he explained. “Following this transfer to their cell, they unfortunately tested positive for COVID (-19).”

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An epidemic was first declared at the Calgary remand center on November 27 and the numbers have risen dramatically since.

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Read more:

41 inmates, 1 Calgary remand center staff tested positive for COVID-19: AHS

Alberta Health Services on Friday confirmed that 226 inmates, 35 staff and one contractor had tested positive for the virus.

That’s an increase from the 42 cases first announced at a press conference less than two weeks ago on November 30.

A few days later, on December 3, that number more than tripled to almost 140.

Haggerty now wants more health measures in place, including stricter cleaning protocols and a renewed focus on making it possible for inmates charged with minor offenses to wait until their home trial date.

« People who are held in prisons or pre-trial detention centers deserve to be safe, ”he said. “They are still members of our community and they have people who love them.”

Read more:

Calgary remand COVID-19 cases rise as concern grows over inmate overcrowding

In an email, AHS said 28 of the 226 inmates who tested positive for COVID-19 have been released into the community for follow-up by public health.

Last week, AHS said in a statement that all inmates and staff have been tested for COVID-19 and all movement between units has been suspended.

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“Isolation and follow-up of positive cases is underway in accordance with public health guidelines,” the health authority said.

“All inmates report mild symptoms, if any. Infection prevention and control measures are in place, including improved cleaning and PPE protection. ”

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