Nebraska prisons to resume visitation suspended due to COVID-19

Published: Jun. 26, 2020 at 6:30 AM CDT
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Nebraska Department of Correctional Services announced that soon friends and family will be able to resume visits.

“We are still working out the details,” explained Director Scott Frakes. “Social distancing will be maintained, and visitors will be required to undergo our screening process and wear masks throughout the duration of those visits.”

Visits to NDCS facilities were suspended in mid-March due to COVID-19. They hope to resume visitation the week of July 13.

Dir. Frakes said the timing is appropriate to resume visitation, but that the agency would reserve the ability to suspend visitation at all or specific facilities, should the circumstances warrant.

“There is still uncertainty associated with this virus and we need to keep the health of inmates, staff members and visitors top of mind as we reinitiate activities that were happening before COVID-19.”

Of the 694 inmates tested so far in the 10 facilities, only eight have tested positive for COVID-19. Testing will continue as part of the TestNebraska program.

“When visitation resumes, it will involve new guidelines designed to reduce risks associated with spreading the disease,” noted Dir. Frakes. “The details will be shared with inmates and members of the public in the coming week. Information will also be posted on the NDCS website.”

He said the agency would continue to resume additional activities and events in the weeks and months to come.

“Reopening visitation is an important place to start. But, we continue to take a cautious and measured approach as we move forward.”