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Cook County Jail To Allow In-Person Visits For Vaccinated Detainees Starting Sunday

CHICAGO (CBS) -- In-person visits will be allowed at the Cook County Jail again starting on Sunday for detainees who have been vaccinated against COVID-19.

The jail first suspended in-person visitation last March at the beginning of the pandemic, and then resumed visits outdoors in June as COVID-19 cases were dropping over the summer. In-person visitation was halted again in November as a second surge of the pandemic took hold and coronavirus cases began to rise again in Cook County.

On Sunday, people can begin scheduling 30-minute visits with vaccinated inmates online at

Only detainees who have received the vaccine will be eligible for in-person visits, and those who are in quarantine or isolation are not eligible until they are medically cleared. Detainees who have been vaccinated can get up to two in-person visits per week, and the visits will be held outdoors in large tents.

"The decision to resume in-person visitations is part of the Sheriff's Office's ongoing efforts to balance the need to protect detainees and staff from COVID with the need to provide individuals in custody opportunities to maintain relationships with their loved ones," Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart's office said in a statement.

Officials will conduct temperature checks on all visitors, who will be required to wear masks and observe social distancing.

Cook County Jail officials said they are performing more than 1,000 COVID-19 tests per week at the jail, and as of March 6, only 3 of approximately 5,500 detainees were COVID positive. The number of daily cases at the jail has stayed below 20 for the past two weeks, according to Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart's office.

Video visitations remain available to all detainees.

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