Ontario correctional facilities will be suspending personal visits and permitting intermittent inmates to return home this week, in an effort to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.
"The health and well-being of Ontarians is our government's number one priority. Since we first learned of COVID-19, Ontario has been taking decisive action to contain the virus and protect all Ontarians," said Christine Elliot, deputy premier and minister of health and Sylvia Jones, solicitor general in a statement Saturday.
As of March 13 and until further notice, intermittent inmates who serve time on the weekends will be granted a temporary absence from custody and permitted to return home, so long as they have checked in at their reporting facility.
According to the press release, intermittent inmates have already been deemed low-risk by the courts and already live and work within the community Monday to Friday.
In addition, Ontario correctional facilities have suspended all personal visits as of March 14 and until further notice. Professional visits including legal counsel are permitted.
"These measures are necessary to reduce any potential transmission of COVID-19. We are taking immediate action to ensure the safety of both our staff and those in our custody. We all need to stay vigilant and do our part to ensure the health and well-being of all Ontarians," said the release.
Find more information on the province's actions regarding COVID-19 here.