VBSO COVID-19 preparations, response and cancellations

As the novel coronavirus 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
  • Stocking of medical supplies
  • Reminding everyone to take universal health precautions, such as frequent hand washing
  • Utilizing Trusty and Workforce inmates for 24/7 cleaning and sanitation of the Correctional Center
  • Suspending all volunteer programs
  • Canceling all Correctional Center tours
  • Canceling training and ceremonies
  • Reducing the jail population by more than 300 people
  • Implementing mandatory wellness screenings and mask-wearing for all appointees (sworn and civilian staff) and contractors


Point prevalence survey 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 survey (PPS) with the VDH on Wednesday, June 24, and Thursday, June 25. As part of the survey, 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 have been processed and three appointees (two deputies and one civilian) and three inmates have tested positive for COVID-19 as a result of the PPS testing and have been quarantined (all are asymptomatic). There are also 16 retests (eight for appointees and eight for inmates) pending.

VBSO COVID-19 TEST RESULTS (updated 7/6/2020)

DEPUTIES TESTED73
DEPUTY NEGATIVE RESULTS70
DEPUTY POSITIVE RESULTS2
DEPUTY RESULTS PENDING1
DEPUTIES CLEARED*2
TOTAL DEPUTIES407

*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.

Six civilian staff members have reported being tested for COVID-19. All of those test results were negative.

VBCC COVID-19 TEST RESULTS (updated 7/6/2020)

INMATES TESTED63*
INMATE NEGATIVE RESULTS62
INMATE POSITIVE RESULTS1**
INMATE RESULTS PENDING0
TOTAL INMATES1,017

*Of the 63 inmates who were tested, 26 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.

**The one inmate who tested positive was asymptomatic and has since received a negative COVID-19 test and completed a 14-day quarantine as a precaution. This is no longer considered an active case.

The above information is updated each business day by 5 p.m.

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 July 19 and the building remains closed to general public access. Only the essential proceedings listed in the attached court orders (on the right hand side of the page) are taking place. All others have been continued.

The following individuals ONLY will be allowed into the Virginia Beach Courthouse during the duration of the closure:

• Essential parties – such as attorneys, witnesses and defendants – to the hearings listed in the attached court orders; those hearings include but are not limited to “quarantine or isolation matters, criminal arraignments, bail reviews” and “civil commitment hearings”;

• Individuals seeking protective orders and protective order appeals;

• Individuals involved in emergency child custody or protection cases;

• Those seeking exemptions from garnishments; and

• Those conducting any of the other matters listed in the attached court orders (posted on the right hand side of the page).

In addition, per the Supreme Court of Virginia, all persons entering the Courthouse will be asked the following questions:

• 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).

• Mask wearing 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.

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 have been rescheduled during the Judicial Emergency should contact the appropriate court for their new court date. All other offices located inside the Courthouse are also closed with very limited exceptions and they 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. 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 novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, pandemic and in the best interest of public health and safety, the VBSO Civil Process Division has modified its civil process operations.

Through at least July 19, service of process will be limited to those matters outlined in the attached court orders in line with the current, reduced operations of the Virginia Beach courts. These operational modifications will be reevaluated and updated on an ongoing basis consistent with any additional executive and/or judicial orders.

For additional information, visit our About Civil Process page.

Questions? Call 757-385-6234.

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 plans to waive 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.

Visitation

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.

Attorneys only are permitted to visit with their clients via the video terminals in the Correctional Center's Visitation Lobby starting on Monday, June 29. An appointment is required 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 9-11 a.m. and 1-4 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.

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. The last appointment slot is at 3:30 p.m.

Options available for paying inmate fees and accounts

We are not accepting in-person account deposits or payments for inmate fees at this time. The following options are 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
Payable to:
VBSO Inmate Account

Weekenders

Weekender Program SUSPENDED through Aug. 3

The Weekender Program was SUSPENDED effective March 9 but is scheduled to resume on Aug. 3. The suspension was a precaution to reduce admissions into the Correctional Center during COVID-19. Weekenders with questions about resuming the program and completing their sentence should call 757-385-1050 or 757-385-4289.

When the program resumes, weekenders will undergo a health screening and have their temperature taken prior to being admitted into the Correctional Center. Appropriate social distancing will be observed.

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.

Frequently Asked Questions