In-person visits by family and friends with inmates at the Erie County Holding Center and the Erie County Correctional Facility have been suspended as a precaution amid concerns about infection with the novel coronavirus, the Sheriff’s Office announced Thursday.
The Niagara County Sheriff's Office released a statement noting that it, too, will temporarily suspend all inmate visitation at the Niagara County Jail until further notice because of concerns about COVID-19.
Attorneys will be the only ones allowed in-person visits with inmates, officials in Erie and Niagara counties announced.
Neither the Erie nor Niagara County Sheriff’s Offices has any confirmed cases of COVID-19 and no one is under quarantine at any of their facilities.
The Erie County Sheriff's Office announced that it also has suspended services provided by outside vendors, including chaplain services, inmate education and community services.
In lieu of the suspension of visits, every inmate will be given two free hours per week of video visitation through an online service. Each inmate will also receive $10 in their commissary account to pay for telephone or video calls, the Erie County Sheriff's Office announced.
Starting Tuesday, phone services through the Niagara County Jail will be available at a reduced rate.
Sheriff’s officials said they are working on reducing the costs to inmates for the video calls, while in-person visits are suspended.