Stateville prison, Will County jail taking preventive measures in response to coronavirus

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Staff at Stateville prison in Crest Hill and the Will County jail in Joliet are taking preventive measures in response to the coronavirus outbreak, including screening new inmates for signs of the disease.

Medical staff for the Will County jail will perform additional screening of new inmates by asking them questions regarding any travel outside the country or if they have symptoms associated with coronavirus, sheriff's spokeswoman Kathy Hoffmeyer said.

“The medical providers that are contracted at the jail are using extra precautions as inmates are being booked,” Hoffmeyer said.

All inmates will continue to have visitation through video only, Hoffmeyer said.

Attorneys still are allowed to meet in person with inmates, she said. However, sheriff's staff are discussing whether attorneys have to undergo medical screening before visits or using a visitation room at the jail that has windows, she said.

“As of today, it’s business as usual,” Hoffmeyer said.

All Illinois prison staff will screen new inmates as part of a plan to prevent coronavirus, Illinois Department of Corrections spokeswoman Lindsey Hess said.

Hess said all facilities and vehicles are routinely cleaned and disinfected, and cleaning supplies will be made available to all staff and inmates.

She said all prisons are temporarily suspending visits effective Saturday until further notice. State prison officials are “expanding opportunities for video visits and calls,” she said.