Virginia to end COVID-19-related early release of state inmates

The Virginia Department of Corrections is ending its COVID-19-related early release of state inmates.

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Officials say the early release period will end at midnight on July 1.

The state has released 2,114 inmates early due to the pandemic and says the state prison population has decreased significantly since the beginning of the COVID-19 emergency.

CORONAVIRUS IN DC, MARYLAND AND VIRGINIA

"We thank family members and community organizations for stepping up to offer services and support to this population as we safely released inmates early during the pandemic," said Brian Moran, Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security in a statement. "The early release plan was an innovative way to ensure the safety and security of our incarcerated population as well as the public."

RICHMOND, VA - FEBRUARY 09: A view of the Virginia State Capitol, February 9, 2019 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Virginia DOC officials say they will continue to vaccinate all staff and inmates who want the vaccine and will test staff and inmates for COVID-19. Officials say as vaccination rates rise and COVID cases fall, they will soon allow visitors back into its facilities.

Face masks continue to be required in congregate settings, officials say, including correctional facilities.