Suffolk County Jails Suspend Contact Visits
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: March 9, 2020
Public Information from the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office on COVID-19 Preparations
(Riverhead, NY) As 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread in New York, Sheriff Errol D. Toulon Jr. has been working closely with the Suffolk County Department of Health, the County Executive’s Office, and state and local agencies to prepare for the potentiality of coronavirus spreading inside the Suffolk County Correctional Facility and the Sheriff’s Office complex. There have been numerous reports of COVID-19 in prisons in Asia and in parts of Europe, but none yet reported in the United States.
Beginning today, the County Sheriff has suspended all contact visits until further notice to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Non-contact visits may still be scheduled in advance by calling 631-852-1893 or 631-852-1894. Visiting hours will be 7:30 AM to 8:30 PM, 7 days per week with 30 minute sessions. There are 6 non-contact booths in Yaphank and 9 in Riverhead. Visitors may schedule one visit per day. Walk in visits will not be allowed.
“Jails and prisons across the United States are places where illnesses can spread quickly, and therefore careful planning is critical for containment. I want to assure the public that we are taking all necessary steps to ensure the safety of our staff, our inmate population, and our visitors. I have therefore made the decision to suspend all contact visits until further notice.” said Sheriff Toulon.
Sheriff Toulon has instituted a mix of tactical strategies, staff training, and public information to mitigate the spread of germs inside the jails and surrounding buildings. The County jail has a state of the art medical facility, protective equipment, and the medical personnel available to screen inmates and staff.
Newly arriving inmates are being screened for signs and symptoms of COVID-19, and jail and health officials will arrange for quarantine as necessary. If any inmates or staff contract coronavirus, Health Department officials will implement special release protocols to protect the public.
Visiting information is available on the Sheriff’s Office website at www.suffolkcountysheriffsoffice.com