COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

When did staff and inmate testing begin?

Initially inmates and staff were tested if they showed any symptoms if they showed symptoms or were exposed to an individual who had a confirmed positive case. As of August 14, 2020 all inmates housed at the Roanoke City Jail were tested. Over the next week, staff will receive testing, as well as contractors and vendors.

When was the first inmate confirmed positive for COVID-19?

We received the confirmed positive cases of inmates the first week of August. To date (8.17.2020) there have been 14 confirmed inmate and 14 employee’s cases of COVID-19

What happens when an inmate tests positive?

Inmates who are confirmed positive have been in a designated quarantine housing location. They are routinely monitored by jail and medical staff.

How/when are inmates loved ones/family notified? Are they notified?

Due to HIPPA, The Sheriff's Office is unable to release any medical information regarding an inmate to anyone.

Are you currently accepting weekenders or delayed confinement?

As of July 6, 2020 Delayed Confinement – no longer suspended

As of July 11, 2020 Weekend Confinement – no longer suspended

As of July 11, 2020 Court Ordered Workforce - no longer suspended

Are programs still suspened?

Yes. The suspension of programs is in the best interest of not spreading the virus. Unfortunately, most of our providers that instruct our programs come from outside our facility. For the safety of both our offenders and staff, we had to suspend the contact visits and group settings because of the way the virus spreads. We have explored and implemented other options to keep them busy, such as crossword puzzles, increased library operations, extra phone calls and increased days of video visitation.

Is there a medical co pay for COVID-19 Symptoms?

We have waived medical co pays for COVID 19 symptoms.

Are inmates still able to have mental health assistance?

Yes our mental health staff is still on-site as well as tele-doc accessibility

How are new intakes handled at the Roanoke City Jail?

New intakes to the Roanoke City Jail will go through an enhanced pre-screening prior to being admitted. This screening includes a verbal and temporal screening. Any new intake that shows symptoms will likely remain in the jails’ custody, however, depending on the extent of the circumstances, extensive medical care will be provided. If an inmate(s), current or new, require the need for quarantine, there are plans in place with housing locations that will allow for isolation from the general population. The jail is in possession of (PPE) personal protective equipment should the need arise.

Is staff screened for symptoms of COVID19?

All individuals entering the facility are subjected to prescreening. Sheriff’s staff, contractors, vendors and City of Roanoke employees must answer a verbal questionnaire, as well as temporal screening. If they show signs or symptoms, according to the CDC, of COVID-19, they will be sent home from work and required to not return until medically cleared by professionals.

Are visitors allowed?

Currently there are no visitors are allowed in the Roanoke City Jail. The Sheriff’s Office lobby is still closed to the public.

Are attorney visits still permitted?

Yes – attorney visits are still permitted, but non-contact is recommended.

Are masks mandated for both staff and inmates?

Yes – all staff are required to wear masks while in the building. Inmates have to wear masks when they are moving throughout the facility, but are strongly encouraged to wear them while in their housing units.

The health and safety of those in our care remains a top priority. We continue to take proactive measures to ensure that the department is doing everything possible to mitigate the situation and manage the spread of COVID-19 in our facility.

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