COVID-19 cases at Mission Institution grow to 35, the worst outbreak among Canadian prisons

The outside of the minimum security Mission Institution prison is seen in this CTV News file image.

The number of inmates at Mission Institution who have tested positive for COVID-19 has risen to 35, according to the Correctional Service of Canada – the highest number in all federal prisons in Canada.

That's up from the 26 positive cases at Mission Institution Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.'s provincial health officer, reported Saturday.

Henry said five of the positive cases are being treated in hospital.

Five correctional officers have also tested postive, according to the union that represents them.

"We have been working very closely with our federal counterparts to ensure that they have everything they need to manage that outbreak," Henry said on Saturday. "There are a number of both inmates and staff who've been affected."

Read more: COVID-19 cases rise in B.C. prison as unions call for protection

The Correctional Service of Canada is reporting that six tests at Mission Institution, a medium-security facility, have come back negative. However, 13 more tests are pending. The only other positive case at a federal institution in B.C. is at Pacific Regional Treatment Centre.

Mission Institution continues to have the highest amount of positive tests among inmates at a national prison institution across the country. The federal prison with the second highest number of positive tests is Joliette Institution in Quebec, with 17 positive tests.

Currently Quebec has a total of 32 positive cases in federal prisons, while B.C. has 36. Ontario has eight cases, while prisons in all other provinces are currently reporting no cases.

With files from The Canadian Press.

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