Manitoba defends handling of COVID-19 in jails after 45 positive tests

Manitoba justice and health officials are defending the way provincial jails have handled the COVID-19 pandemic after 45 people have tested positive for the virus. 

A total of 34 inmates have contracted COVID-19 as of Monday morning. All positive cases have been at the Headingley Correctional Centre, except for one case at the Agassiz Youth Centre.

Six staff at Headingley have tested positive for COVID-19, while two employees at Milner Ridge and one each at the Brandon Correctional Centre, the Winnipeg Remand Centre and the Manitoba Youth Centre have tested positive.

Across the province, around 470 inmates are in isolation.

A security guard brought COVID-19 into Headingley, provincial officials said during a media briefing at the Manitoba Legislature on Monday. The guard was in close contact with an inmate while asymptomatic and the virus was subsequently transmitted to other guards.