Are you one of the 30,000 people per month who visit their loved ones behind bars within the state of Florida? If so, you should know that the Florida Department of Corrections (FDC) has suspended visitation statewide through April 5. The decision comes in response to the COVID19 State of Emergency and is being described as a “precautionary measure.”
The FDC emphasizes that it currently has no known or suspected cases of COVID-19, and states that the visitation suspension is one of many necessary precautions minimize your loved one’s risk of exposure.
How to contact your loved one
You may miss your loved one and want them to know you are still there to support them. But how do you do that if you can’t be there in person because of the State of Emergency? You can rest assured that you and your loved one still have options to connect with one another, including:
- Video visitation
- Phone calls
It’s also important to clarify that legal visits for your loved one will not be affected for your loved one.
Why is the suspension important?
Illnesses and diseases like COVID-19 can develop, and possibly spread, quickly from person to person housed within each respective facility. The FDC is taking the added precautionary step of monitoring any individual with clearance to enter will undergo screening if they:
- Have any symptoms such as shortness of breath, cough, or fever
- Have been exposed to or had contact with anyone suspected of or been proven to have a confirmed positive COVID-19 diagnosis
- Returned from a visit to any of the following countries within the last two weeks (14 days): Italy, China. South Korea, or Iran.
FDC officials state that the decision to reinstate the regular visitation schedule will be made jointly with the Department of Health.
Because the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, you may want to call the specific facility housing your loved one within the FDC on or after April 6 before making a trip to visit to see your loved one.
“We look forward to resuming normal visitation as soon as possible,” FDC officials said in a press release.