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

Have an opinion you’d like to share? Submit letters to the editor through our website, via email or the postal service. (Heather Colpitts/Black Press Media)
LETTER: Constituent does not consider MP’s ‘unclean’ use a slur

Local letter writer said the biblical quote was not an insult to gay MP

A Worksafe BC temporary closure order posted on the front entrance of the Langley Canadian Tire on Thursday, April 29. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
First Langley business in several days hit by COVID-19 closure order

A plumbing company is the latest to have to shut down temporarily

Acting RCMP Supt. Bhatti told council property crime in Langley City took a “significant” drop in the first three months of the year, but the number of mail theft incidents more than doubled (City of Langley video feed)
VIDEO: Property crime drops in Langley City: report

Reduction called ‘significant’ by acting officer in charge of Langley RCMP detachment

Matt Trulsen of Maple Ridge went on from the PJHL to excel in junior college hockey in the U.S. (Dakota College at Bottineau/Special to The News)
B.C. goaltender excels in U.S. junior college

Matt Trulsen, brother of the late Noah, calls community support ‘amazing’

Jose Marchand prepares Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination doses at a mobile clinic for members of First Nations and their partners, in Montreal, Friday, April 30, 2021. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization is coming under fire after contradicting the advice Canadians have been receiving for weeks to take the first vaccine against COVID-19 that they’re offered. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Trudeau says he is glad he got AstraZeneca, vaccines are only way out of pandemic

‘The most important thing is to get vaccinated with the first vaccine offered to you’

B.C.’s provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Dip in COVID-19 cases with 572 newly announced in B.C.

No new deaths have been reported but hospitalized patients are up to 481, with 161 being treated in intensive care

Ripy Jubbal of Abbotsford has received a 30-month jail sentence for the fraudulent use of credit cards and credit card data. (Facebook photo)
Abbotsford woman sentenced for $80K in fraudulent credit card purchases

Ripy Jubbal and spouse used identities of 19 different victims, court hears

Solar panels on a parking garage at the University of B.C. will be used to separate water into oxygen and hydrogen, the latter captured to supply a vehicle filling station. (UBC video)
UBC parkade project to use solar energy for hydrogen vehicles

Demonstration project gets $5.6M in low-carbon fuel credits

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

FILE – A student arrives at school as teachers dressed in red participate in a solidarity march to raise awareness about cases of COVID-19 at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. ‘should be able to’ offer 1st dose of COVID vaccine to kids 12+ by end of June: Henry

Health Canada authorized the vaccine for younger teens this morning

A woman in the Harrison Mills area was attacked by a cougar on Tuesday, May 4. B.C. Conservation Officers killed two male cougars in the area; the attack was determined to be predatory in nature. (File photo)
2 cougars killed following attack on woman in Agassiz area

Attack victim remains in hospital in stable condition

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. CDC updates info, acknowledging small respiratory droplets can spread COVID-19

Large droplets, not aerosols had been fixture of public health messaging for many months

Most Read