RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY/WFXR) — On Wednesday, the Virginia Department of Corrections (VADOC) announced plans to move to the next phase of reopening on Sept. 1, which is when families will be able to visit inmates in nine facilities across the Commonwealth.
This news comes after all state correctional facilities opened to attorneys, court officials, embassy and consulate officials, and other official visitors on July 15, followed by religious visitors and volunteers on Aug. 1.
During the next phase, VADOC is expected to open nine pilot sites for in-person family visitation. This will allow families to visit their loved ones in certain facilities while following COVID-19 protocols, including mask-wearing.
The pilot sites opening on Sept. 1 are St. Brides Correctional Center, Greensville Correctional Center, Caroline Correctional Unit, Buckingham Correctional Center, Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women, Nottoway Work Center, Green Rock Correctional Center, Keen Mountain Correctional Center, and Patrick Henry Correctional Unit.
This news comes as the department confirmed one active COVID-19 case among inmates and 32 cases among VACOC staff as of Wednesday, Aug. 11.
Due to concerns about the spread of the delta variant, only fully vaccinated inmates are allowed to have in-person visitors. Those who are not fully vaccinated will be allowed to continue with virtual, video meetings.
VADOC officials say that guests over the age of 12 will be required to take a self-administered COVID-19 rapid antigen test and must receive a negative test result before visiting a facility.
According to VADOC vaccination statistics, as of Wednesday, approximately 75 percent of VADOC inmates/CCAP probationers have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 62.4 percent are fully vaccinated.
Department officials expect the in-person family visitation program to fully resume by Oct. 1.
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