Ontario investigates 2nd death this month of an inmate from South West Detention Centre

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Ontario's Ministry of the Solicitor General is investigating after a South West Detention Centre inmate died this week. It's the second inmate death this month.  (CBC File Photo - image credit)
Ontario's Ministry of the Solicitor General is investigating after a South West Detention Centre inmate died this week. It's the second inmate death this month. (CBC File Photo - image credit)

Ontario's Ministry of the Solicitor General is investigating a second death this month of an inmate from the South West Detention Centre in Windsor.

A ministry spokesperson told CBC News that an inmate was found in medical distress Tuesday night, was sent to hospital and later pronounced dead.

When an inmate dies in custody, multiple investigations are launched, including a death investigation by the Office of the Chief Coroner, said the spokesperson.

In another incident this month, a ministry spokesperson said paramedics brought an inmate from the jail to hospital on Dec. 7. The inmate died Dec. 18.

For both cases, no other details around cause of death were provided.

Ongoing outbreak

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) declared an outbreak at the facility at the end of November, with Wednesday's data showing 24 cases linked to the centre.

During a media briefing Wednesday, WECHU CEO Nicole Dupuis had no updates about the outbreak. The health unit has been reluctant to release any information about the ongoing outbreak.

WECHU defines an outbreak in this scenario as two or more employees testing positive for COVID-19 with reasonable time to suspect transmission in the workplace.

Last week, the ministry said it is aware of this outbreak, but did not link it to the deaths of either inmates.

The ministry said all new inmates are screened and tested for COVID-19, with their consent, upon arriving at any detention facility. They are also segregated for 14 days and tested again on Day 10.

Any inmate who tests positive is isolated and receives care.

The ministry also has allocated COVID-19 vaccines that are available to inmates.

It says employees of detention centres who are not fully vaccinated must provide "regular" antigen testing.

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