A Bowden Institution inmate died on Tuesday from apparent COVID-19 complications.
The inmate’s next of kin have been notified of their death, said Correctional Service of Canada in a statement released late Wednesday.
“The Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) extends its condolences to the family,” it said.
“As in all cases involving the death of an inmate, CSC has notified the coroner who will review the circumstances of the death.”
CSC has health services and medical professionals in all of its institutions. It also works “closely and collaboratively with local public heath partners and hospitals to provide complete and quality medical care to those who need it and to prevent further spread of COVID-19.”
This is the sixth death — the only one from Alberta — related to COVID-19 among federally sentenced inmates. There have been two deaths in Saskatchewan prisons, and one each in Quebec, Manitoba and B.C.
The Privacy Act allows CSC to release certain information at the time of a death in custody but will not release the name of the inmate or their personal medical details.
CSC protocol involves medically isolating inmates who show symptoms or test positive for COVID-19 to prevent the spread. Modified measures are in place such as physical distancing, hygiene practices, cleaning and disinfecting protocols. All CSC workers and inmates at Bowden Institution are also provided with masks to prevent spread.
Bowden Institution has had 36 COVID cases — 23 recovered and 12 active cases — among inmates or staff, according to the CSC website, which tracks COVID statistics in the prison system.
The medium-security unit has a rated capacity of 470 inmates and the minimum-security unit has a rated capacity of 130 inmates.
The first positive test occurred on April 18 this year. On April 28, the prison issued a news release saying 10 staff and 15 prisoners had been infected.
The most recent vaccination clinics at Bowden Institution took place between April 22 and April 28. CSC is rolling out the second phase of its vaccine strategy in accordance with National Advisory Committee on Immunization guidelines.
“CSC works closely with public health to trace, test and treat inmates, as needed, including use of local hospitals to provide any further care needed.”