There is a new COVID-19 testing mandate for those visiting New York State prisons.
Cases have surged during the winter months fueled by the Omicron variant.
It has prompted the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision to require all visitors 2 and older, regardless of vaccination status, to be tested for COVID-19 before entry into any prison.
DOCCS says it will issue home test kits to visitors who must leave the facility to test themselves. If the test is negative, they will present the results to an officer who completes initial processing for visitation.
“As we continue to monitor the effects of COVID-19 within our institutions and in the outside communities, particularly with the omicron variant, we are seeing an unprecedented increase in the positivity rate across New York state,” DOCCS says on its website. “Our greatest concern continues to be the safety and well-being of our employees and those individuals within our care, custody and supervision, particularly during this public health emergency.”
Among other changes at prisons due to COVID-19:
– Visiting rooms are operating at half capacity.
– Those having visitors can only have two weekend visits a month.
– Visits are being limited to three adults and one child under 5.
– Those in isolation or quarantine will not be allowed any visitors.
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