Virginia Department of Corrections begins opening facilities to the public; Family visitation to be phased in by September

Posted at 8:43 AM, Jul 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-08 08:43:51-04

The Virginia Department of Corrections will begin allowing visitors back into its facilities starting July 15, with in-person family visitation to be phased in by September.

According to a release from the Virginia DOC, attorneys and court officials, embassy and consulate officials and other official visitors will be the first visitors able to enter DOC facilities. Religious visitors and volunteers will be able to enter facilities as early as August 1, and pilot sites for in-person family visitation will open by September 1.

The Virginia DOC said that in-person family visitation will be resumed at all facilities in the state by October 1.

Visitors age 12 and over will be required to take a COVID-19 rapid antigen test and must receive a negative test result in order to visit an inmate or Community Corrections Alternative Program (CCAP) probationer in person. Because correctional facilities are congregate settings, masks are required.

Inmates and CCAP probationers who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will be eligible to meet with members of the public in person, while video visits will continue to be available to unvaccinated inmates.

According to the DOC, 72 percent of inmates have received one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and 65 percent are currently vaccinated. As of Thursday, July 8, there are four active COVID-19 cases among inmates and 13 among staff.