Virginia Department of Corrections creating sneeze, cough guard masks for staff, offenders

Virginia Department of Corrections creating sneeze, cough guard masks for staff, offenders
Although the masks aren’t medical-grade, they will aid in the effort to keep the coronavirus (COVID-19) out of the correctional facilities in Virginia. (Source: Pixabay)

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The Virginia Department of Corrections is creating sneeze and cough guard masks for use by the Virginia DOC staff and offenders.

The production of the masks started on March 20 at all four Virginia Correctional Enterprise (VCE) apparel plants.

Although the masks aren’t medical-grade, they will aid in the effort to keep the coronavirus (COVID-19) out of the correctional facilities in Virginia.

On March 22, 5,200 sneeze and cough guards were delivered to Coffeewood Correctional Center and 4900 Dillwyn Correctional Center.

Today, 80 masks are being delivered to probation and parole officers.

Deerfield Correctional Center will receive the next round of masks.

Virginia DOC is hoping to be able to produce up to 15,000 sneeze/cough guard masks a day.

There are still no known cases of COVID-19 among offenders and staff in Virginia’s prisons.

Virginia Correctional Enterprises also manufactures cleaning supplies approved by the EPA for use in combating the coronavirus. The cleaning supplies are used by the Virginia DOC and are available for procurement.

Due to the high demand, cleaning supply orders have to be limited.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Virginia DOC facilities have moved to modified lockdown in order to minimize contact between groups of offenders from different buildings. Offenders will eat in their pods and go to recreation with their own pod of offenders and will not eat and recreate with offenders from other pods until further notice.

While visitation at correctional facilities is canceled, 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.

For more information, visit the Virginia Department of Corrections website.

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