Virginia Department of Corrections reopening facilities for visitations in phases

Virginia

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Virginia Department of Corrections (VADOC) will be reopening state correctional facilities to the public in a phased approach.

The VADOC said that attorneys, court officials, embassy and consulate officials and other official visitors will be able to access facilities starting Thursday, July 15. During the pandemic, in-person visits were canceled and inmates met with attorneys, family members and others via video chat platforms like Zoom.

The facilities will open to religious visitors and volunteers as early as August 1.

Some correctional facilities will open for family visitations by September 1. The VADOC did not specify which correctional facilities will open first.

The state’s Department of Corrections does expect that in-person family visitation will be resumed at all facilities statewide by October 1.

Visitors over the age of 12 will be required to take a self-administered COVID-19 rapid antigen test. A negative result is required to visit an inmate or Community Corrections Alternative Program (CCAP) probationer in person. Masks are required during visits.

Inmates who are fully vaccinated will be able to meet with people in person. Video visits will continue to be available to unvaccinated inmates.

According to VADOC vaccination statistics, 72% of DOC inmates, CCAP probationers have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 65% are fully vaccinated. As of July 8, there are four active COVID-19 cases among inmates and 13 staff cases.

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