Crime and courts

Three Va. inmates test positive for COVID-19

The Virginia Department of Corrections reported its first positive
COVID-19 test results among inmates on March 31. Three offenders at the
Virginia Correctional Center for Women in Goochland a tested positive
for the novel coronavirus.

Three VADOC employees and one contractor have also tested positive for
COVID-19. The employees include one officer in training at the Virginia
Correctional Center for Women (VCCW); one correctional officer at Indian
Creek Correctional Center; and one employee at the Norfolk Probation and
Parole office. The contractor is a contract nurse at VCCW.

All VADOC facilities are operating on modified lockdown in order to
minimize contact between groups of offenders from different buildings,
and Virginia Correctional Enterprises is manufacturing tens of thousands
of sneeze/cough guard masks for use by Virginia DOC staff and offenders.

While visitation and volunteer activities at correctional facilities are
cancelled due to the pandemic, video visitation, email, and phone calls
are available to offenders. The Virginia DOC reports that its “extensive
Medical Epidemic/Pandemic Sanitation Plan is in place to make certain
that all VADOC facilities ensure accurate sanitation while utilizing
appropriate chemicals and approved personal protective equipment”.

The VADOC says it’s working closely with the Virginia Department of
Health and continues to plan for every possible contingency.

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