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Update to allowable physical contact during visiting

The purpose of this memorandum is to provide updated direction regarding allowable physical contact during in-person visiting. This update is following recent discussions with the California Correctional Health Care Services, and in compliance with California Department of Public Health guidelines. This change has been made in an effort to continue to work toward fully returning to pre COVID-19 visiting operations. As we continue to work toward this goal, it is noted that current protocols for masking, COVID-19 testing, vaccinations, and the restriction of children under two years of age from in-person visiting remain in effect.

In-person visiting is allowed when the following criteria are met:

  1. The facility or institution is in the Open Phase of the Roadmap to Reopening
  2. All visitors, visiting staff, vaccinated incarcerated population, and unvaccinated incarcerated populations with an approved medical or religious exemption will wear the designated personal protective equipment during visiting
  3. Free standing High Efficiency Particulate Air filtration or institution assembled MERV-13 units appropriate for the size of the visiting area are deployed.

The following contact/touching will be allowed pursuant to California Code of Regulations, Title 15, Section 3175:

  • At the beginning and end of each visit, incarcerated persons and their visitors may briefly embrace and kiss.
  • Incarcerated persons and their visitors may hold hands during the visit.
  • An incarcerated person may hold their minor children.
  • Incarcerated persons may also hold minor children accompanied by an adult they are visiting.
  • No other bodily contact shall be permitted.