Four offenders have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, including one offender incarcerated at the Central Virginia Correctional Unit 13 for women in Chesterfield and three other cases at the Virginia Correctional Center for Women in Goochland, Virginia.
Four VADOC employees and one contractor have tested positive for COVID-19. The employees include one officer at the State Farm Correctional Complex; one officer in training at the Virginia Correctional Center for Women (VCCW); one officer at Indian Creek Correctional Center; and one employee at the Norfolk Probation and Parole office. The contractor is a contract nurse at VCCW.
Visitation and volunteer activities remain cancelled until further notice.
Updates can be found on this page or by calling our information line, 804‑887‑8484.
Testing and ScreeningLast updated: 12:40 pm, March 30, 2020
- The Virginia DOC is utilizing its COVID-19 Medical Guideline along with an Offender Screening Questionnaire and Medical Evaluation Tool to evaluate and monitor offenders’ health.
- If we have an offender in a state correctional facility who appears to meet the criteria for COVID-19 testing, the procedure is to contact the Virginia Department of Health and follow their guidance regarding testing.
- All offenders being released from the VADOC facilities as they finish their sentences are now screened for COVID-19 on the day of their release.
- There is a separate screening tool for employees. All employees must assess their risk on a daily basis prior to reporting to work.
- All persons entering any VADOC correctional facility will be screened using infrared/temporal artery thermometers (forehead thermometers).
Visitation and Telephone CommunicationLast updated: 12:40 pm, March 30, 2020
- While visitation at correctional facilities is cancelled for now, off-site video visitation, facilitated through Assisting Families of Inmates (AFOI), remains available. JPay and VADOC have worked together to credit each offender’s JPay account with two free JPay stamps per week during this time.
- Virginia DOC has worked with GTL, the offender phone service provider, to provide inmates with two free phone calls per week beginning March 19, 2020 through April 15, 2020. The two free calls will be applied to the first two calls the offender makes each week.
To assist in preventing the reach of COVID-19 into state correctional facilities, all attorney/authorized attorney representative meetings with offenders will be conducted over the phone until further notice in an attempt to limit the number of persons coming in and out of facilities each day during this pandemic.
These calls will take place through the Offender Telephone System. If an offender’s attorney or authorized attorney representative wishes to have a legal visit with an offender, that attorney/authorized attorney representative must contact the facility regarding the requested date and time of the meeting.
Once a meeting date and time is set, just as with in-person meetings, the institution will facilitate the phone meeting between the offender and the attorney or authorized attorney representative. The offender will place the call over the Offender Telephone System. If you are an attorney or authorized attorney representative who needs to set up a phone meeting with an offender, please contact the offender's facility.
- Because New York is a COVID-19 hotspot, we’ve created a list of visitors from New York who were in our facilities the last weekend we held visitation and are checking with their respective offenders to make sure the offenders aren’t showing any symptoms.
- For the week of March 22–29, offenders sent and received 220,460 emails, had 453,275 phone calls, and completed 1,604 video visits.
Sanitation and Personal Protective EquipmentLast updated: 12:30 pm, April 2, 2020
- The VADOC's extensive Medical Epidemic/Pandemic Sanitation Plan is in place to make certain that all Department facilities ensure accurate sanitation during this pandemic while utilizing appropriate chemicals and approved personal protective equipment.
- There is plenty of soap and water at the facilities, and that remains the best way to keep hands clean. Each offender is being given two bars of soap per week for their own personal use.
- Like hospitals and other institutions, the VADOC continues to attempt to order more PPEs (personal protective equipment). However, the nationwide shortage is affecting the VADOC just as it affects everyone else.
- Virginia Correctional Enterprises (VCE) is now manufacturing about 30,000 sneeze/cough guard masks per day for offenders and staff. Multiple masks are being made for each offender and facility staff member. Once enough masks are available for DOC staff and offenders, we will evaluate whether we can make them for other state and local government entities.
- VCE also manufactures cleaning supplies approved by the EPA for use in combating the coronavirus.
- The VADOC has put in a source request for PPE with VDEM.
- The VADOC has ordered 112,000 additional bars of soap that will be delivered next week and we look to continue ordering more. During this pandemic, we are giving each offender two bars of soap for their personal use per week.
Sneeze/cough guard masks made by VCE will be or have been provided to each staff member. Staff members are required to wear their VCE masks unless wearing another form of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) mask. The sneeze/cough guard mask is providing an added level of protection but should not be worn in place of PPE in situations where PPE is required.
All offenders are required to wear their VCE masks at all times unless instructed to remove it by a staff member. The sneeze/cough guard mask should not be worn in place of PPE in situations where PPE is required.
Facility StaffingLast updated: 11:40 am, March 20, 2020
- There are currently no staffing shortages caused by COVID-19.
- The VADOC continues to plan for every possible contingency. An emergency menu has been developed for use in the event that a corrections facility has food service workers unable to report to work. This menu contains food items that will be centrally ordered.
- The VADOC is working with a temp agency to hire additional nurses for coverage during this pandemic.
Offender Transportation, Intake, and ManagementLast updated: 12:45 pm, March 27, 2020
- As of the Governor’s declaration of a state of emergency, the VADOC suspended offender intake from local jails for 30 days. Offender transfers and movement between VADOC facilities is suspended until further notice.
- Offender medical transports continue as scheduled unless an appointment is cancelled or changed by the outside provider.
- VADOC facilities have moved to modified lockdown in order to minimize contact between groups of offenders from different buildings. Offenders will eat in their pods and go to recreation with their own pod of offenders and will not eat and recreate with offenders from other pods until further notice.
- The VADOC has a plan in place that would allow offender medications to temporarily be kept by the offenders rather than received through the usual pill line in an effort to promote social distancing by cutting down on pill lines. To qualify, each offender patient would have to be interviewed, meet eligibility criteria, and complete a self-med contract. Medications being considered include over-the-counter, non-prescription medications, selected mental health medications, and other medications based on facility need.
- Offenders in dormitory housing have been instructed to sleep head to toe, thereby increasing the breathable space between offenders. Additionally, it has been recommended to offenders that they maintain a six foot distance whenever possible and not sit on anyone else’s bed.
- Three Virginia DOC Offenders Test Positive for COVID-19
- Virginia DOC’s Correctional Enterprises Manufacturing Sneeze/Cough Guard Masks for Staff and Offenders
- Virginia DOC’s COVID-19 Medical Guideline, Pandemic Sanitation Plan Working to Keep Offenders Safe
- Visitors and Volunteers to Virginia DOC Facilities Suspended Until Further Notice
- Virginia DOC Mobilized Against COVID-19, Asks Visitors to Self-Monitor