RICHMOND — There are still no known cases of COVID-19 among offenders and staff in Virginia’s prisons. Visitation and volunteer activities remain cancelled until further notice.
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.
The Virginia DOC’s extensive Medical Epidemic/Pandemic Sanitation Plan is now in place to make certain that all Department facilities ensure accurate sanitation during this pandemic while utilizing appropriate chemicals and approved personal protective equipment.
Previously, the Virginia DOC put in place screening questionnaires for offenders, volunteers, visitors, and contractors. There is now a separate screening tool for employees. All employees must assess their risk on a daily basis prior to reporting to work.
A Virginia DOC multi-disciplinary task force has been working to keep the new coronavirus from reaching the state’s correctional facilities, monitoring COVID-19 updates and guidance from the Virginia Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the World Health Organization. As a large public safety agency, the VADOC is accustomed to managing communicable diseases.
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 worked together to credit each offender’s JPay account with two free JPay stamps per week during this time.
As of Thursday's declaration of a state of emergency by Governor Ralph Northam, 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 by the affected provider.