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November 09, 2021

Fully vaccinated inmates will soon be able to resume in-person visits, Philly prison officials say

The Philadelphia Department of Prisons announced Monday that it will begin a phased plan to resume traditional visitation

Prisons COVID-19
Curran Fromhold Correctional in-person Source/Google Maps

Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility is one of four facilities operated by the Philadelphia Department of Prisons.

The Department of Prisons is one of many city and state-run organizations that are looking to the future, as they begin a phased resumption of in-person visits starting Nov. 15.

For incarcerated people who are fully vaccinated, visitors can access the virtual scheduling platform starting Friday to plan their visit, as it takes 48 hours to facilitate the meeting. 

Free phone and virtual visits will continue for inmates regardless of their vaccination status. 

Given concerns about the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, only one adult and one child aged 11 to 17 will be able to visit at a time. Visits from children aged 10 or younger will be re-evaluated as the plan is rolled out.

In a statement released by the Department of Prisons on Monday, officials say that visitors should show up to the facility no more than 10 minutes before their slated arrival time, and must receive a temperature check. If their temperature is above 100.4 degrees, they will not be able to enter and will have to reschedule their time. Visitors must be masked at all times. 

Visits will last one hour per week, and will be rotated to ensure that all eligible members of the incarcerated population are able to receive them. 

Prison populations across the region have experienced increased hardships throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, including shelter-in-place orders, case surges, and a lack of in-person visitation with loved ones since the virus began sweeping the globe in early 2020. 

Now, as people aged 5 and above are eligible for vaccination, and large portions of the population have already received at least one dose of vaccine, organizations like the PDP are looking for ways to determine what is best in terms of resuming traditional activities. 

There have been 325 total symptomatic COVID-19 cases in Philly prisons, and 1,798 asymptomatic cases reported since May 2020. That data includes the results of universal testing that the PDP administered last year. 

As of Monday morning, there is only one reported symptomatic case of COVID-19 among the city's inmate population, with 45 asymptomatic cases, according to PDP data