Gregg County Jail to open visitation Saturday with restrictions
LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - East Texas jails and state prison systems will begin to allow visitation, after almost a year of being closed to family visits.
Governor Abbott issued an executive order that reopens prisons to visitation starting on March 15th, and local jails are following suit.
The Gregg county jail will resume visitation of inmates starting Saturday.
“We’re going to follow all our normal visitation rules, which means people that are approved to visit are allowed to visit. It will be sanitized not only on the visitors side but on the inmate side,” said Gregg county sheriff’s office lieutenant Josh Tubb.
May of 2020 governor Abbott issued an executive order suspending in-person visits to all county and municipal jails across Texas to help stop the spread of Covid.
Abbott’s new order states ‘county and municipal’ jails should follow guidance from the Texas commission on jail standards regarding visitation.
“We’re only going to allow 10 people to wait in the lobby at a a time. In the visitation room here there will only be allowed 10 people. Using every other space for visitation, that way we allow for social distancing. Everyone will be required to wear a mask,” Tubb says.
The Texas department of criminal justice will allow in-person visitation to resume at all TDCJ units.
“Now is the right time for a number of reasons. Mainly because of the decrease in case counts both in communities surrounding our units but also inside our units,” said TDCJ director of communications Jeremy Desel.
New Covid-19 visitation restrictions will be in place, including limits on the length and number of in-person visits. And visitors will be required to wear a mask and take a 15-minute rapid Covid-19 test conducted at the prison.
“We’re going to do everything we can to make sure our staff is safe our inmates are safe, and our citizens who come to visit a loved one remain safe,” said Tubb.
Visitation appointments must be made by calling the inmate’s unit, and an online booking system will be added in the near future.
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