The Canadian Red Cross confirmed Wednesday that it has been asked to help federal authorities respond to a COVID-19 outbreak at a medium-security prison in central Alberta.
In an email to Global News on Wednesday night, a spokesperson for the charitable humanitarian organization said it will be assisting with the public health situation at Drumheller Institution.
“At the request of the Public Health Agency of Canada and Correctional Service of Canada, Canadian Red Cross is providing supplementary epidemic prevention and control enhancement, training, and guidance in correctional facilities,” Shelly Makrugin said. “Over the course of six months, the Canadian Red Cross will provide this support at facilities across the country, as prioritized by Corrections Canada.
“Canadian Red Cross is uniquely positioned to provide this support, building upon extensive knowledge and experience gained in responding to other epidemics around the world. Since the initial onset of COVID-19, the Red Cross has assessed and supported similar efforts in other facilities throughout Canada, including long-term care sites and rehabilitation centres.”
According to the Correctional Service of Canada’s website, the federal correctional facility had 63 active cases as of March 9. Since the pandemic began, 131 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed at Drumheller Institution but no deaths have been linked to the illness there.
Global News has reached out to the Correctional Service of Canada for more details on the current public health situation at the facility.
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