COVID-19 outbreak at Okanagan Correctional Centre, involves 3 staff

Three staff involved in possible exposure, health officials say

An Okanagan prison is in the midst of its second COVID-19 outbreak, health officials announced on Thursday.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry confirmed the community outbreak at the high-security Okanagan Correctional Centre (OCC) in Oliver after three staff members at the facility tested positive for the severe respiratory virus.

Full outbreak protocols are in place and an investigation by Interior Health is underway.

This is the second outbreak at the facility. The first came on April 2 as OCC became the first prison in B.C. to have a confirmed outbreak after a single inmate tested positive for the novel coronavirus. That outbreak was declared over on April 20.

The prison also faced accusations of subpar sanitation and education during the pandemic from a former inmate.

At least four offenders have been released early from OCC due to the pandemic, according to the B.C. Ministry of Public Safety.

The Kelowna Capital News has requested further information on the outbreak from Interior Health and the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General.

More to come.

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