Jail visitation reinstated

Two months after visitation was suspended, the Teton County Sheriff's Office will begin allowing in-person visits at the jail this weekend. Visitors who appear sick will have their temperatures taken, face masks are strongly recommended, no more than four people will be allowed in the waiting room at a times and they must maintain six feet of distance.

The Teton County Sheriff’s Office will start allowing in-person visits at the jail this weekend, two months after suspending them because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

But there are rules.

“Jail staff will take your temperature if you appear sick, and if you’re running a fever you will be asked to reschedule,” Lt. Chett Hooper said.

Visitors are also strongly encouraged to wear masks when entering.

Visitation hours are by appointment only, and only four people are allowed in the jail lobby at one time.

“We ask that everyone keep 6 feet distance in the lobby,” Hooper said.

The sheriff’s office halted in-person visits in March to help keep the coronavirus from infecting inmates and employees who work at the jail.

During the weeks when inmates couldn’t have visitors, they were allowed to make free phone calls during regular visitation hours on a phone line installed as an alternative.

“It went well,” Hooper said. “I think it was successful for the inmates and their families.”

The sheriff’s office said it will also

reinstitute its regular fingerprinting schedule.

Appointments can be made online. The rules are same for that: Wear a mask and don’t cluster in the lobby.

Hooper said their efforts of keeping COVID-19 out of the jail have been successful.

They’ve kept inmate numbers low enough that if a new person is booked for overnight stays they can be isolated from the rest of the population.

“We’re taking temperatures of inmates and they’re being screened multiple times,” he said.

During March and April inmate numbers hovered between 8 and 10.

They’re starting to increase now but Hooper said the numbers are still manageable that they can quarantine inmates when needed.

“We’ve got 13 today,” Hooper said on Thursday. “Things are going great. We appreciate the public’s cooperation on this as we continue to adjust things accordingly.”

To make an appointment to visit an inmate call 733-2141.

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