On January 5, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that the first round of Minnesota’s department of corrections prison inmates received the newest Moderna vaccine for COVID-19.
The story didn’t lay out a plan for vaccinations to reach those in Minnesota’s county jails. Additionally, the state health department’s website offers scarce information about when the vaccine may be available for inmates in the county jail system. So we can’t emphasize enough that the best way to keep your loved one in jail safe is to contact us and secure their bail bond now. That way, the inmate you love can come home, instead of staying in one of the most crowded populations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We’re hopeful that inmates in Minnesota county jails will all have the accessibility to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible. We know how tiring it can be to deal with COVID-19 procedures on top of already dealing with the incarceration of your loved one. But after you pay your loved one’s bond in Minnesota, there’s still measures to follow to keep the inmate you love safe. This will also help keep yourself safe and keep the other inmates and jail staff safe. Here’s some helpful reminders.
- When securing the inmate in your life’s bail bond, be prepared that they may have to agree to quarantine once they arrive home. The court will want to know where the person whose bail you’re paying will stay and who they will be with — not just for the usual terms of their bond and release, but for public health and safety as well.
The inmate whose bond you’re paying quarantine will help determine that they’re cleared of not having contracted COVID-19 while in jail. The whole goal is to stop the spread.
- Arrange for good medical care.
Where the inmate will seek medical care upon release, should they need it, is another item the court may want to know while securing their bail bond.
But this isn’t just good to know as an addition to the usual bond conditions. While we want your loved one to come home to a healthy life, there is that chance they contracted COVID-19 while in jail. Many Minnesota correctional facilities have had outbreaks or a growing number of positive cases. So it’s good to know how to contact and locate the nearest emergency room. Also, have your family physician on speed dial. You may even give your physician a heads up that you’re paying your loved one’s bail. Tell your doctor how long your loved one will be in quarantine. That way, you have some help monitoring any symptoms that may arise, and a professional ready to jump in if needed.
- When you visit your loved one in jail, make sure you wash your hands and use the hand sanitizer that the jail provides.
Just like you would in any business you visit, maintain 6 feet from other visitors in the correctional facility. And just like all indoor public spaces in Minnesota, it’s currently mandated that you wear a mask or face covering over your mouth and above your nose.
- If you’ve been experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms, such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, muscle aches, sore throat, congestion/runny nose, loss of taste/smell, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea, skip the jail visit and make a jail phone call instead.
We know: You want to see the person in your life who is incarcerated. But with numerous reported cases of COVID-19 in Minnesota’s jails and correctional facilities, you would hate to contribute to any positive tests.
- Be prepared to possibly be screened for COVID-19 at the jail’s entrance, including a temperature check. If you don’t clear the screening, or you refuse it, you may not be allowed to enter the jail.
- Check with the jail and with your county for any new changes to, or suspension of, jail visits. Also check for any changes to your county’s health directive.
- If there is an outbreak in the county jail where your loved one is housed, there is a probability that visitations may be suspended. This is another great reason to pay your loved one’s bail, and secure the bail bond fast.
Also consider the surrounding area. How many inmates in your local county jail are from a surrounding county? How many cases are in those areas? If a visit seems risky to you, check to see if your county jail offers video or virtual calls. Also check out our past posts about other ways to keep the inmate you love happy in jail, including by mail!
- Check to see if the inmate you love is in quarantine. If so, mailing letters and gifts may be the best way to stay in contact with them for a couple of weeks. Don’t worry. We’re here to help you secure their bail so you can see the incarcerated person in your life as soon as possible.