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Va. Dept. of Corrections suspends visitations and volunteering

Credit: WWBT
Credit: WWBT(WHSV)
Published: Mar. 16, 2020 at 3:28 PM EDT
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The Virginia Department of Corrections is officially suspending visitation to all of the state's correctional facilities and temporarily not allowing volunteers.

In an announcement Monday, the department said that while there have been no known cases of COVID-19 in inmates or staff, they're making the move to keep the coronavirus from reaching their facilities.

Last week, the department cancelled all offender visitation after many individual jails and prisons made similar calls on a local level.

While visitation is cancelled, off-site video visitation, through Assisting Families of Inmates (AFOI), remains available.

As of Gov. Northam's state of emergency declaration last week, the department also suspended offender intake from local jails for 30 days. Transfers between facilities has been suspended too.

Offender medical transports will continue as scheduled unless an appointment is cancelled by the affected provider.

VADOC says each inmate's JPay account now has two free stamps per week.

Contractors may still enter facilities to perform their duties.

"As a large public safety agency, the VADOC is accustomed to managing communicable diseases," the department said in its release. "We are carefully monitoring the COVID-19 situation, staying current with information and guidance provided by the Virginia Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If an offender were to have a positive COVID-19 test, just like with the flu, VADOC would report that case to the Virginia Department of Health and follow their guidance. The affected offender’s facility would be locked down."

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