How is the Sheriff's Office responding to the coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency?
Personal visiting at the Adult Detention Center and Alternative Incarceration Branch is suspended until further notice to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. All inmates will be given two free 15-minute calls per week in lieu of personal visiting. Professional visiting (attorneys, probation officers, law enforcement officials and court-authorized behavioral health professionals) will continue as non-contact visits. We encourage professional visitors to come during normal business hours. As always, we ensure the confidentiality of legal representation calls and visits, whether in person or by teleconference.
Effective April 6, 2020 until further notice: Before anyone can enter the secure areas of the Adult Detention Center (ADC), they must first use the entrance between the Post 18 information booth and Control Booth 1 (CB-1) on the first floor of the ADC (above the Magistrate’s Office entrance). A Sheriff’s Office staff member will be posted near this entrance to conduct a “Working Wellness Check” before entry is granted beyond the secure doors. This process entails a temperature check and screening questions to gauge the person’s overall well-being. This policy applies to all Sheriff’s Office civilian and sworn staff, Facilities Management Department staff, CSB staff, Aramark staff, attorneys and other professional visitors. Law enforcement officers with prisoners can enter via male intake as normal, where a receiving sergeant will conduct the wellness check.
Yes. Following recommendations of the Fairfax County Health Department, we have protocols in place for intake at the Adult Detention Center. When an arrestee is brought into the ADC, deputies conducting the initial pat search will ask the individual screening questions to determine their possible exposure to the coronavirus. Deputies also will use a digital thermometer to check the temperature of every arrestee. If an individual has a temperature of 100.4 degrees or above or if they answer yes to any of the screening questions, a deputy will summon the receiving nurse to conduct a more in-depth screening. If the nurse determines the individual is possibly infected with COVID-19, the nurse will place a mask on the individual, who will be isolated in a receiving cell after the booking process has been completed. The Sheriff’s Office will then immediately contact the Health Department for consultation. All individuals booked into the ADC are quarantined for 14 days prior to admission to the general population.
There are zero inmates with COVID-19 in the Adult Detention Center.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, we have had eight inmates test positive.
In the last three cases, one inmate disclosed testing positive prior to arrest. One disclosed a high risk exposure prior to arrest and was immediately tested at intake. And the other was briefly in Sheriff's Office custody before being transported to the hospital for an unrelated matter. The first two bonded out from the Adult Detention Center (ADC). The third bonded out from the hospital. Per Sheriff’s Office protocol, we consulted with the Health Department prior to the releases to ensure they were done safely to mitigate the spread of the virus.
Of the five original cases in the ADC, the last one had been in close and prolonged contact with two people in the community who had tested positive prior to the arrest. This inmate tested positive within 24 hours of being booked and while already under quarantine. In accordance with Sheriff's Office protocol, ALL new inmates are quarantined for up to 14 days (unless they are released) before being moved to general population.
By May 28, all five inmates remaining in the ADC who had tested positive had recovered and tested negative. All were treated in the ADC without hospitalization.
Also since the pandemic began, 15 staff members tested positive for the virus, 10 of whom have since returned to work. (Updated 8/12/2020)
If you have a concern about your incarcerated loved one, please call 703-246-2100 and press 3 for medical. Alternatively, email email@example.com. If your loved one has signed a medical release of information form in accordance with HIPAA, we can let you know his or her health status.
Yes. We follow best cleaning practices recommended by the Health Department and the CDC. We have reassigned staff to do a deep clean throughout the ADC four times per week, using a hospital grade fogger or spray sanitizer and focusing on all the high touch areas. Our cleaning products are EPA certified to kill bacteria and viruses. We also have sanitizing wipes for daily use.
The Sheriff’s Office does not have the authority to overturn court orders. If a court were to direct us to release inmates, we would follow the court's order.
Every cell block in the ADC has at least one TV. At the bottom of the screens, we regularly run informative messages. In light of COVID-19, our message emphasizes the need to frequently wash hands with soap and water as the best way to avoid the virus. We remind inmates to wash their hands before and after attending programs, before and after visiting, before and after meals, and after using the restroom. Cell blocks are cleaned every day.
At this time, volunteers are not permitted in the Adult Detention Center. The Sheriff's Office has temporarily suspended volunteer-led inmate programs and services to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. We are exploring options to use electronic platforms to conduct some of these activities remotely.
Updated 8/7/2020: The Supreme Court of Virginia has ordered the following: "Effective August 10 through September 7, 2020 (pursuant to Va. Code § 17.1-330 Declaration of judicial emergency), the issuance of writs of eviction pursuant to unlawful detainer actions is suspended and continued. However, this suspension and continuation shall not apply to writs of eviction in unlawful detainer actions that are unrelated to the failure to pay rent."
While this language suspends the issuance of any new evictions, it does not suspend the execution of any pending evictions. If you are pending an eviction due to the inability to pay rent, you may have cause to make a motion to the General District Court to stay the execution of your eviction based on this new Supreme Court of Virginia order. For further information, please contact Legal Services of Northern Virginia at 703-778-6800.
Not at this time - The Sheriff's Office has canceled upcoming child ID events to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.