52 cases of COVID-19 in Sarnia Jail outbreak

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Thirty-three COVID-19 cases remain active in an outbreak at the Sarnia Jail. (The Canadian Press - image credit)
Thirty-three COVID-19 cases remain active in an outbreak at the Sarnia Jail. (The Canadian Press - image credit)

More than 50 cases of COVID-19 have been diagnosed among inmates and staff at the Sarnia Jail.

The active case count among inmates is 33 as of Monday, according to data released by the province. That figure is down from a peak of 41 cases last week.

The outbreak was declared on Feb. 6, and Lambton Public Health's website says five staff members and 47 inmates have been diagnosed in total. No deaths are associated with the outbreak.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of the Solicitor General, which oversees the province's correctional institutions, said a number of changes have been made in recent months, including testing and isolation for those newly admitted and others as necessary, personal protective equipment for staff and inmates, and temperature checks for staff and visitors.

"Protecting the health and safety of correctional services staff and those in provincial custody is the ministry's top priority," Andrew Morrison, a spokesperson for the ministry, said in a statement.

Inmates who test positive are isolated while they receive medical care, according to the ministry.

"The ministry continues to work with local public health authorities to complete contact tracing, and voluntary testing of inmates is ongoing," Morrison said.

The outbreak is one of five ongoing in Sarnia-Lambton. One is active at Bluewater Health, and the others are at seniors' homes.

Overall, there are 72 active cases of COVID-19 in the region. On Tuesday, a clinic to vaccinate health-care workers with the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine opened up at Bluewater Health.