The inmates at the Ontario Correctional Institute (OCI) in Brampton are being temporarily transferred to another facility due to a large outbreak of COVID-19.

The chair of the Ontario Corrections Division for the Ontario Public Service Employees Union, Chris Jackel, said the ministry decided over the weekend to temporarily shut down the facility and to send inmates to the Toronto South Detention Centre (TDSC) in Etobicoke.

Jackel did not confirm a specific number of inmates being transported, but said the total is in “the triple digits.”

The solicitor general’s office said the centre will close on Tuesday, April 21. It states the closure is planned to last for 14 days during which time the facility will undergo a deep cleaning.

The solicitor general’s office also said, “Inmates are receiving medical care as required. Appropriate protocols are being followed to ensure protection of all staff and inmates…TSDC [is] our newest facility [and] has a modern health-care unit with medical isolation units and appropriate resources, to effectively manage and support inmates with COVID-19”

It was also noted that the inmates will not be housed directly with the TSDC inmates to limit the spread of COVID-19 in that centre’s population.

Three staff members tested positive for COVID-19 last week, which is why they tested the inmates and other staff members under a rush order. At this time all staff at the OCI have been ordered to self-isolate for the usual two-week period.

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