While the Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC) has no known cases of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) at this time, GDC is closely monitoring the ongoing developments of COVID-19 here in Georgia, and is taking proactive steps to help ensure the health and safety of staff, offenders and visitors.
Following Friday’s directive issued by Governor Kemp, the GDC has suspended visitation at all correctional facilities statewide. The visitation suspension will be in effect through April 10, 2020. Offenders will continue to have access to their loved ones via mail, phone calls and GOAL devices. As an added measure, offenders will be provided one phone call per week, per inmate at no cost.
To help further prevent the potential spread of COVID-19 in GDC facilities, the following processes have been implemented:
- Consulting with designated liaison from the Dept. of Public Health
- Increased frequency of sanitizing high population areas, including transport buses/vans
- Screening of any individual entering our facilities
- Added additional hand sanitizing stations
- Temporarily suspended facility tours
- Offender questionnaire-based screening upon intake
- Designated sanitation Officer for each facility
As the agency continues to gather information from Governor Kemp’s office, the Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control, it has bolstered existing infection control policies and are prepared to act on any additional steps that may need to be taken, should the need arise.
“We are taking this situation seriously, and along with maintaining public safety, we are committed to minimizing any health risks associated with COVID-19,” said Commissioner Timothy C. Ward. “All precautionary steps we are taking are being done so in the best interest of our staff, visitors, and the offenders in our custody.”
Additional protocols may be implemented as the situation warrants, and the GDC will communicate updates via our website and social media channels.