COVID-19 outbreak at Sudbury District Jail spreads, causes delays at Gore Bay courthouse

GORE BAY – A COVID-19 outbreak that occurred at the Sudbury District Jail on Monday, October 18 led to closure of the facility for 14 days and the transfer of inmates to other facilities. Outbreaks were later declared at Central North Correctional Facility and Toronto South Detention Centre, where many of the Sudbury inmates were transferred. The outbreak has caused minor delays when inmates were required to appear at Gore Bay for court appearances or bail hearings.

Andrew Morrison, media relations for the Ministry of the Solicitor General told The Expositor in an email, “The ministry is working closely with the Public Health Sudbury & Districts to respond to the outbreak of inmate COVID cases at the Sudbury Jail. Each provincial correctional facility has its own pandemic plan in place prepared in consultation with local public health partners.”

In consultation with the Public Health Sudbury & Districts, and to ensure the safety and well-being of both correctional services staff and those in provincial custody, the ministry has decided to temporarily close the Sudbury Jail for a minimum of 14 days, Mr. Morrison said. Approximately 145 inmates from the Sudbury Jail were transferred to other facilities that have capacity and ability to isolate these inmates under droplet precautions separately from the general population. Staff assigned to transfer inmates are following appropriate infection control protocols to prevent the risk of any further spread of infection. The ministry does not publicly disclose details on inmate transfers for security reasons.  

“The ministry notified its justice sector partners in the Greater Sudbury area about the temporary closure of the correctional facility, which may have resulted in some brief delays for some court proceedings,” he wrote. “The ministry is making every effort to ensure inmates that were transferred from the Sudbury Jail are made available for their court appearances whether in-person or by video appearance. You may wish to check with your local court house on any adjusted proceedings resulting from the Sudbury Jail transfers.”