VBSO COVID-19 preparations, response and cancellations
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, the Virginia Beach Sheriff's Office is taking every possible precaution to safeguard the health and safety of every person living and working inside the Virginia Beach Correctional Center. In consultation with health officials and federal, state and local leadership, we are closely monitoring the situation and taking proactive measures to reduce the potential for an exposure in the jail. So far these efforts include:
- Heightened screening of arrestees prior to entering the facility
- Quarantine of all new admissions for 14 days
- Issuing masks to all general population inmates
- Stocking of medical supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Reminding everyone to take universal health precautions, such as frequent hand washing
- Utilizing Trusty and Workforce inmates for additional cleaning and sanitation of the Correctional Center
- Suspending most in-person volunteer programs (some programs have continued virtually)
- Canceling all Correctional Center tours
- Reducing the jail population
- Restricting inmate movement between housing units in the jail
- Implementing mandatory wellness screenings and mask-wearing for all appointees (sworn and civilian staff) and contractors
Point prevalence study testing: At the recommendation of the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) and out of an abundance of caution, the Virginia Beach Sheriff's Office conducted a COVID-19 point prevalence study (PPS) with the VDH on Wednesday, June 24, and Thursday, June 25. As part of the study, all VBSO appointees (518 deputies, civilians and contractors) and 988 inmates were tested for COVID-19. Those testing numbers are not reflected in the charts below. As of Tuesday, June 30, all tests had been processed and three appointees (two deputies and one civilian) and three inmates tested positive for COVID-19 as a result of the PPS testing and were quarantined (all were asymptomatic). Everyone (inmates and appointees) who tested positive has been cleared by a physician (are no longer active cases) as of July 15. There were also approximately 16 retests of appointees and inmates and all of those test results were negative.
Second point prevalence study testing: The VBSO conducted its second point prevalence study (PPS) on Oct. 28-30, testing 1,521 inmates, deputies and civilian staff and contractors. All of the tests have been processed and four deputies* and 70 inmates tested positive for COVID-19, which is approximately 1% of the VBSO's 500 staff members and approximately 6% of the jail's 1,110 inmates. All those who tested positive are being quarantined and provided any needed medical care. Inmates have also been given an opportunity to notify their families. At the recommendation of the VDH, everyone will be retested, with testing scheduled for the week of Nov. 9. For additional information, see the press release on the test results at vbso.net/news.
*The VBSO previously reported that 10 deputies tested positive as a result of the Oct. 28-30 mass testing (PPS) with the VDH. However, that number was inaccurate. Four deputies tested positive as a result of that PPS (six of the positive tests were invalid because they were retests of previously positive individuals who should not have been retested, per the VDH).
Please also see the following message from Sheriff Ken Stolle regarding the VBSO's COVID-19 cases and response. It has been published to the inmate population via the CCTVs located throughout the jail:
Third point prevalence study testing: The VBSO conducted its third point prevalence study (PPS) in partnerships with the VDH on Monday, Nov. 9, testing 1,584 deputies, civilians, inmates and contractors. Five staff members (four deputies and one civilian who work in the jail) and 104 inmates tested positive. For full information on these tests results and the VBSO's response, visit vbso.net/news.
Fourth point prevalence study testing: The VBSO conducted its fourth point prevalence study (PPS) in partnerships with the VDH on Friday, Nov. 20, testing 1,532 inmates, deputies and civilian staff. Those test results are as follows:
|INMATES, DEPUTIES & CIVILIANS TESTED||1,532|
|TOTAL INMATE POSITIVE TESTS||83|
|NEW INMATE POSITIVE TESTS||42|
|DEPUTY POSITIVE TESTS||6|
|CIVILIAN STAFF POSITIVE TESTS||1|
Of the 83 inmates who tested positive, 42 are new cases and 41 previously tested positive. For full information on these test results and the VBSO's response, visit vbso.net/news.
Fifth point prevalence study testing: The VBSO conducted its fifth point prevalence study (PPS) in partnerships with the VDH on Friday, Dec. 4, testing 1,518 inmates, deputies, civilian staff and contractors. Those test results will be published here when they are available.
VBSO COVID-19 TEST RESULTS (updated 12/3/2020)
These numbers reflect all tests outside the point prevalence studies conducted since the beginning of the pandemic.
|DEPUTY NEGATIVE RESULTS||93|
|DEPUTY POSITIVE RESULTS||17|
|DEPUTY RESULTS PENDING||1|
|ACTIVE DEPUTY CASES||3|
*Deputies cleared indicates the number of deputies who previously tested positive for COVID-19 but have since been cleared by a physician and Occupational Health to return to work.
Sixteen civilian staff members have reported being tested for COVID-19. Twelve of those test results were negative and four were positive. Of the four positive cases, three remain active and one has been cleared by a physician and Occupational Health to return to work.
VBCC COVID-19 TEST RESULTS (updated 12/3/2020)
These numbers reflect all tests conducted outside the point prevalence studies since the beginning of the pandemic.
|INMATE NEGATIVE RESULTS||75|
|INMATE POSITIVE RESULTS||9|
|INMATE RESULTS PENDING||0|
|ACTIVE INMATE CASES||0|
|INMATES CLEARED OR RELEASED*||9|
|INMATE DEATHS DUE TO COVID-19||0|
|TOTAL INMATES (CURRENT JAIL POPULATION)||1,126|
Many of the inmates who were tested were housed in a 14-day quarantine block either because they were new admits or had been out of the jail, such as for a medical appointment or court in another jurisdiction. The purpose of the 14-day quarantine is to monitor for symptoms and prevent bringing COVID-19 into general population. Any inmate with COVID-19 symptoms is housed in Medical Isolation and tested if they meet the Virginia Department of Health criteria.
*Inmates cleared or released indicates the number of inmates who tested positive for COVID-19 and have either been cleared by a physician or released from custody.
The above information is updated weekly, no later than noon on Friday.
In addition, the following steps have been taken:
Access limited to the Virginia Beach Courthouse
The Virginia Beach Courthouse is operating under the Judicial Emergency order issued by the Supreme Court of Virginia through Dec. 13.
Per the Supreme Court of Virginia, all persons entering the Courthouse will be asked the following questions:
Within the last 14 days,
• Have you traveled internationally?
• Have you been directed to quarantine, isolate or self monitor?
• Have you been diagnosed with or have you had contact with anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19?
• Have you experienced a fever, cough or shortness of breath?
• Have you resided with or been in close contact with any person in the above mentioned categories?
*Answering yes to any of these questions may result in you being denied entrance to the building. You will be directed to contact the appropriate clerk's office by telephone or other remote means to make alternate arrangements for conducting your business with the court.*
In addition, the Virginia Beach Sheriff's Office has implemented the following health and safety procedures for the Courthouse:
• A new traffic flow for ingress and egress, which is marked by signs, cones and fencing.
• Limiting the number of people allowed in the security checkpoint area at one time (to ensure social distancing).
• Enforcing mask-wearing, which is required at all times while inside the Virginia Beach Courthouse pursuant to the Governor's Executive Order 63 and Virginia Beach Circuit Court security order (except under those exceptions outlined in the orders).
• Ensuring social distancing is observed throughout the building. At the direction of the judges, only a limited number of people are being allowed into each courtroom at one time.
Please be sure to give yourself additional time to comply with the health and security screenings when entering the building. Expect delays and plan accordingly.
Those with pending civil or criminal matters that were continued (rescheduled) during the Judicial Emergency should contact the appropriate court for their new court date. All other offices located inside the Courthouse should be contacted directly for information on available services. Contact information is available at vbgov.com.
For Virginia Beach Circuit Court filings, a satellite location is available at 1804 Princess Anne Road (open Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. for drive-through marriage licenses, notary item pickup and first-time concealed-carry permits). In addition, lockboxes have been provided for submitting civil and criminal paperwork and deed/land recording paperwork on the steps of the Courthouse Extension (Building 10B). Electronic recording is also available. Additional information on Circuit Court services available during this time is posted at vblandrecords.com.
A drop box for filing records with the General District Court Clerk's Office is available at the main entrance to the Courthouse (Building 10).
Please understand that these steps are being taken for the health and safety of our community. Thank you!
Civil Process operations modified
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and in the best interest of public health and safety, the VBSO Civil Process Division has modified its civil process operations in keeping with the Judicial Emergency orders from the Supreme Court of Virginia and local courts. For additional information, visit our About Civil Process page.
Questions? Call 757-385-6234.
On-site inmate visitation CANCELED
On-site inmate visitation is CANCELED for the foreseeable future. Friends and family still have several options for communicating with their loved ones: mail, telephone, and online video visitation and messaging. For more information on those options, visit vbso.net/calls-visits.
In addition, the jail's telephone contractor, GTL, is providing one free five-minute phone call per week to every inmate in an effort to help them stay connected with friends and family during COVID-19.
Attorneys only are permitted to visit with their clients via the video terminals in the Correctional Center's Visitation Lobby. An appointment is highly recommended and visits are limited to 30 minutes. In addition, attorneys are required to wear a mask, have their temperature taken and answer health screening questions. No masks will be provided (attorneys must bring their own). The hours are 9 a.m.-3 p.m., 5-6 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. Monday-Friday. The full requirements and procedures are available in the Attorney Video Visitation Procedure document. Attorneys are still encouraged to conduct whatever business they can using the phone system to limit unnecessary traffic into the Correctional Center. Walk-ins are allowed, but may experience longer wait times (appointments receive priority).
We are only accepting same-day appointments for attorney visitation, which may be made starting at 7:30 a.m. each day (Monday-Friday) by calling 757-385-4512.
Some nonviolent offenders released into electronic home incarceration
On March 17, the Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office began releasing some nonviolent offenders into electronic home incarceration in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Sheriff’s Office has identified those Virginia Beach Correctional Center inmates who may be eligible for release into the existing Electronic Home Incarceration Program (EHIP). To be eligible, they must have 90 days or less left to serve for a nonviolent offense. Offenders charged with domestic violence or their third or subsequent drunken driving offense will not be considered for release. They must have a safe place to go.
In addition, new arrestees who meet these criteria will also be considered for release into the EHIP.
The goal is to reduce the jail population and free up bed space. The Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office is taking every precaution to reduce the risk of a novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, infection in the Correctional Center. Among those precautions is an automatic 14-day quarantine of all new admissions, which requires additional bed space.
The releases were approved by the attached court order from Virginia Beach General District Court Chief Judge Daniel Lahne.
The EHIP allows the Sheriff’s Office to monitor the whereabouts of offenders using Attenti GPS-enabled ankle bracelets. The system allows for geofencing and tracking of each individual’s location via satellite.
The Sheriff’s Office has waived the usual $3.20/day charge for participating in the program as long as offenders remain on good behavior during their release and return the equipment undamaged. Anyone who violates the terms of their release will be taken back into custody.
The EHIP can accommodate 150 offenders.
The criteria listed here is not exhaustive and the Sheriff’s Office cannot confirm or guarantee the eligibility of any individual offender. Due to these constraints and manpower limitations, we ask that inmates' friends and family refrain from calling to inquire about placement into the program.
In addition, in conjunction with the Magistrate's Office, current inmates' bonds have also been reevaluated to determine who may be releasable.
Options available for paying inmate fees and accounts
In-person account deposits and payments for inmate fees can be made via the Property window located next to the Magistrate's Office at 2501 James Madison Blvd. (on the side of the building facing Nimmo Parkway). These include Weekender, Electronic Home Incarceration Program and Offender Management System payments as well as inmate account deposits. The Accounting window located in the Visitation Lobby is CLOSED at this time.
The following options are also available:
Telephone account deposits: Call 877-650-4249 or visit GTL's website at web.connectednetwork.com
Canteen accounts: Call 877-650-4249, visit GTL's website at web.connectednetwork.com or mail a money order, certified check or cashier’s check made payable to “VBSO Inmate Account” to:
Inmate’s name and OMS number
c/o Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office
VBSO Inmate Account
P.O. Box 6186
Virginia Beach, VA 23456
Inmate fees: Mail the bill stub with a check or money order to:
Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office
P.O. Box 6469
Virginia Beach, VA 23456
VBSO Inmate Account
Weekender Program CANCELED
The Weekender Program is suspended and will not resume until Jan. 1, 2021. This includes all non-consecutive sentences. Weekenders with questions about resuming the program and completing their sentence should call 757-385-1050.
These changes will remain in effect for the foreseeable future and will be reevaluated daily and updated as needed.
Please check here and/or our social media sites for additional information about steps we are taking to monitor and prepare for the potential spread of the coronavirus. As always, the health and safety of the community, the inmates, and the deputies and civilians of the Virginia Beach Sheriff's Office is our top priority.