Almost 100 inmates in Mission, B.C., prison diagnosed with COVID-19, as well as hundreds of staff working with the people, have contracted the novel coronavirus.
“This has been a difficult time for us as a correctional system with our first-hand community experience with COVID-19,” said the Vancouver Island Health Region.
“As of April 23, we have confirmed more than 1,100 inmates in our facilities have tested positive and have been placed into quarantine.”
It is not known how many staff have tested positive for the virus and are being monitored.
The total number of confirmed cases in the province could be over 1,000, including more than 100 people in the correctional facilities, according to the B.C. Coronavirus Strategy Taskforce.
The Ministry of Health said the province is moving quickly to increase public health care capacity.
“The ministry is prepared to support more hospitals and more tests at the same time that we’re doing more to protect people at this time.”
“We need to prepare for the need as we increase testing capacity.”
The ministry says it is working with provinces, territories and community agencies around the world to make the necessary medical equipment and supplies available to health-care systems in response to the pandemic.
“The challenge for our health system is not only to provide care in the event of a health emergency like this, it is about being ready when a health emergency occurs,” said the ministry.
“That’s why we’re making sure that our preparedness systems are up to speed now. We’re working with our partners in the community to identify and test more people, and we’re doing everything we can to support a rapid increase in testing and to support hospitals to have more medical resources.”
BC Centre for Excellence’s Dr. David Fleming was asked about the possibility of adding more beds to the Vancouver General Hospital, saying the hospital “has been a great partner in this pandemic, but there’s always an overcapacity challenge at the hospital.”
Dr. Fleming said BC Centre for Excellence “is fully committed to the Vancouver General Hospital. Our staff have all been here for many years, and I would hope that the Vancouver Hospital is as committed