Mobile unit set up to help treat COVID-19 patients from B.C.’s Mission Institution

A mobile medical unit is among the measures being set up to help better coordinate health care at Mission Institution, where the largest outbreak of COVID-19 has been recorded at any federal prison in Canada.

The mobile unit has been installed at Abbotsford Regional Hospital, where a secure area has also been set up for the 41 inmates and staff who have tested positive at the B.C. prison.

Dr. Victoria Lee, the CEO of the Fraser Health Authority, said Tuesday that the mobile unit will not only help protect health-care workers, but it will also help reduce the number of guards needed at the hospital.

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“It has capability to support patient care in a variety of situations ranging from minor illnesses to a higher level of acuity care, like critical care,” Lee said.

A health-care team will also provide consults online to those at Mission Institution.

The Union of Canadian Corrections Officers has called for new protections at the B.C. facility, including more cleaning, immediate distribution of surgical masks to inmates, and a freeze on staff moving between institutions.

About 150 corrections officers work at the Mission prison. The medium-security wing, which is the site of the outbreak, has capacity for 216 inmates.

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