AUSTIN (CBSDFW.COM) – Governor Greg Abbott has issued an Executive Order suspending in-person visitations in all county and municipal jails in the state of Texas.

“Jails have shown to be highly susceptible to COVID-19 surges which is why we are focused on containing any potential hot spots and preventing spread both within jails and the community,” said Abbott. “I encourage jails to utilize virtual visitation strategies to allow for visitations in a way that protects both staff and the inmate population. The State of Texas is committed to keeping all Texans safe, protecting our most vulnerable populations, and mitigating the spread of COVID-19 throughout the Lone Star State.”

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The restriction doesn’t apply to visitation by an attorney meeting with a client or a religious leader or member of the clergy.

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Abbott previously directed state prisons, jails, and juvenile justice facilities to restrict visitation upon issuing his coronavirus disaster declaration. His executive order adds another layer of defense to contain COVID-19 hot spots, prevent community spread, and protect staff and inmates.

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