MADISON, Wis. (WFRV) – The Wisconsin Department of Corrections (DOC) announced on Thursday that it will be offering free COVID-19 vaccinations to those visiting loved ones at select state correctional facilities.
On July 6, in-person visitation resumed for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic forced the suspension of in-person visits in March 2020. Now, DOC officials are continuing to prioritize safety by offering doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to vaccine-eligible people coming for an in-person visit at six DOC facilities.
The facilities offering vaccinations include Fox Lake Correctional Institution, Green Bay Correctional Institution, Kettle Moraine Correctional Institution, Racine Youthful Offender Correctional Facility, Stanley Correctional Institution, and Taycheedah Correctional Institution.
“We want to make it as easy as possible for the people of Wisconsin to become vaccinated against COVID-19,” said DOC Secretary Kevin Carr. “The ease of availability, having vaccine available at a site to which you are already travelling, is something this administration hopes people do not pass up.”
DOC reports that at this time its institutions have 67.2 percent of the Department’s eligible population fully vaccinated with only two active cases of COVID-19 reported among people in DOC care.
“Vaccination is the best tool we have to protect ourselves, family members and loved ones from COVID-19,”
said DHS Secretary-designee Karen Timberlake. “The level of vaccination rates we are seeing in Wisconsin
communities have allowed in-person visitation to resume safely in DOC facilities. However, COVID-19 is still
infecting unvaccinated people across our state, so we are working to make sure everyone who still needs a
COVID-19 vaccine is able to get one. We are using all available avenues to make vaccination as easy as
possible, including offering free COVID-19 vaccination during visits.”
Officials report that people who sign up for an in-person visit at the six identified facilities will be asked if they want a vaccine while there. The vaccine will be administered by DOC Health Services staff.
DOC says special rules are in place to protect against COVID-19 transmission during visits and, if COVID-19 cases in a specific DOC facility or surrounding community begin to rise, face-to-face visitation may be suspended again at that facility.