Fraser Health is setting up a Mobile Medical Unit (MMU) at Abbotsford Regional Hospital in order to help treat inmates from Mission Institution. They are also creating a designated, secure site at the hospital for those who have tested positive. / File Photo

Fraser Health is setting up a Mobile Medical Unit (MMU) at Abbotsford Regional Hospital in order to help treat inmates from Mission Institution. They are also creating a designated, secure site at the hospital for those who have tested positive. / File Photo

Mobile Medical Unit set up in Abbotsford to treat COVID-19 outbreak among Mission inmates

Fraser Health also creating a secure site at hospital; 41 positive tests at institution so far

In an attempt to help slow down the outbreak of COVID-19 cases at Mission Institution’s Medium Security Unit, and to treat those who have been infected, Fraser Health has created a Mobile Medical Unit (MMU) at Abbotsford Regional Hospital. They are also creating a designated, secure site at the hospital for those who have tested positive.

“This will enable us to quickly expand our capacity to better care for patients from Mission Institution who require a higher level of care than what can be provided at the federal medical facility,” said Dr. Victoria Lee, president and CEO, Fraser Health.

MORE: Five inmates hospitalized

She said the mobile unit – which is known as a hospital on wheels – will serve as an extension of the hospital site. The unit should be able to provide care for five or six patients before having to open up the designated unit in the hospital.

Lee said the unit and the designated area will have enhanced security.

“We are seeing about two guards to one patient in terms of ratio that have been coming into our sites,” she said.

Lee added what is really important is that Corrections Canada ensures that the inmates are safe and secure as well as, from a hospital perspective, to ensure that the staff and patients are secure.

According to the latest statistics from Corrections Canada, Mission Institution’s medium security unit now has 41 inmates who have tested positive for COVID-19. The only other federal institution in BC with a positive result is the Pacific Regional Treatment Centre, with one.

Six correctional service staff in Mission have also tested positive.

Along with Mission’s 41 positive results, six tests came back negative and 16 tests are still pending for a total of 63 inmates tested.

In total, Canadian federal prisons have 82 confirmed cases of Covid-19, 205 negative tests and 26 tests pending.

READ: 35 positive test at Mission Institution

Asked why Mission has only performed 63 tests on inmates so far, Dr. Martin Lavoie, chief medical health officer, Fraser Health explained that only inmates or other patients who are symptomatic are tested. He said there is no added value in testing asymptomatic people and Fraser Health does not recommend doing that.

The decision to open a Mobile Medical Unit came just a day after the Union of Canadian Correctional Officers (UCCO-SACC-CSN) issued a statement asking local management from Mission Institution to put in place “relevant measures to protect the health of its 155 correctional officers as well as the inmate population, as soon as possible.”

“As soon as the first cases were declared in Port-Cartier Institution in Quebec, measures were undertaken to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The management of Mission Institution needed to take similar immediate steps, but that did not happen,” claims Derek Chin, regional president of the Pacific Region, UCCO-SACC-CSN.

The statement also asks for an immediate stop to the movement of staff between institutions and reduce movement between posts within the institution. It also asks that surgical masks are distributed to all inmates.

“Mission Institution, of all 49 institutions in the country, should not wait on the distribution of masks to inmates and ensure that staff have an adequate supply for their daily work,” said Chin.

Mission Mayor Pam Alexis released a statement about the outbreak on the district website last week.

“The news of cases of COVID-19 at Mission Medium Institution is deeply concerning. This is not only a serious public health issue for the inmates on lockdown and the staff working there, but is a great concern for the staff who are residents of Mission and have families at home and go about their lives within the community,” Alexis wrote.

“Since Monday, myself, District staff and MP Brad Vis have been requesting more information from Corrections Canada about the protocols they have in place to contain this outbreak and keep everyone safe. Corrections Canada staff have reached out to us and we are confident that the appropriate health experts are involved and appropriate measures to control the outbreak, including a full lockdown, are in place. Of critical importance is that these measures include actions that staff must take to protect their families and the outside community.”



kevin.mills@missioncityrecord.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cariboo North MLA Coralee Oakes shared this photo of the binders and binders of letters and paperwork she’s received on area roads in the past few years. (Submitted photo)
Cariboo MLAs call on province to fix region’s roads

Minister Rob Fleming said more resources were on the way to the region

A medical worker prepares vials of the COVID-19 vaccines, Chinese Sinopharm, left, Sputnik V, center, and Pfizer at a vaccine centre, in the Usce shopping mall in Belgrade, Serbia, Thursday, May 6, 2021. Serbian authorities are looking for incentives for people to boost vaccination that has slowed down in recent weeks amid widespread anti-vaccination and conspiracy theories in the Balkan nation. The government has also promised a payment of around 25 euros to everyone who gets vaccinated by the end of May. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
38 new COVID-19 cases, more than 335k vaccines administered in Interior Health

Interior Health also to start targeted vaccinations in high transmission neighbourhoods

FILE PHOTO
Second doses of COVID-19 vaccine will be available, as AstraZeneca supply runs low: Interior Health

Province expecting large volumes of Pfizer BioNTech as age-based cohort immunization program ramps up

Pharmacist Barbara Violo arranges all the empty vials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines that she has provided to customers at the Junction Chemist which is an independent pharmacy during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto, on Monday, April 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C.’s 1st vaccine-induced blood clot case detected in Interior Health

Interior Health also recorded 52 new cases of COVID-19

(Kamloops This Week file photo)
Probe into TNRD spending taken over by federal police unit

Financial Integrity Sensitive Investigations Unit is now reviewing the case

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

RCMP are looking for information on an alleged shooting attempt near an elementary school in Smithers March 10. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News/Stock)
UPDATE: Man killed in brazen daylight shooting at Vancouver airport

Details about the police incident are still unknown

Pieces of nephrite jade are shown at a mine site in northwestern B.C. in July 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Tahltan Central Government MANDATORY CREDIT
Indigenous nation opposes jade mining in northwestern B.C.

B.C.’s Mines Act requires operators to prepare a plan to protect cultural heritage resources

The body of Brenda Ware, 35, was found along Highway 93 in Kootenay National Park on Thursday, May 6, 2021. (RCMP handout)
RCMP ask for tips after woman’s body found in Kootenay National Park

Brenda Ware was found along Highway 93 in the park, 54 kilometres north of the town of Radium

People pass the red hearts on the COVID-19 Memorial Wall mourning those who have died, opposite the Houses of Parliament on the Embankment in London, Wednesday, April 7, 2021. On May 3, the British government announced that only one person had died of COVID-19 in the previous 24 hours. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Kirsty Wigglesworth
For a view of a COVID-19 future, Canadians should look across the pond

Britain, like Canada, is one of the only countries in the world to delay second doses for several months

Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid (97) celebrates his 100th point this season with Leon Draisaitl (29) against the Vancouver Canucks during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, May 8, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Edmonton superstar McDavid hits 100-point mark as Oilers edge Canucks 4-3

NHL scoring leader needs just 53 games to reach century mark

Nuns of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, carry some of her relics during a vigil of prayer in preparation for the canonization of Mother Teresa in the St. John in Latheran Basilica at the Vatican, Friday, Sept. 2, 2016. In which city did she do much of her charitable work? (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
QUIZ: How much do you know about these motherhood issues?

In honour of Mother’s Day, take this 10-question quiz

Most Read