ANCHORAGE — The Alaska Department of Corrections announced on Monday that public visitation will be available on April 21 for the first time in over a year, except at Anchorage and Ketchikan Correctional Centers. On March 31 2020, the DOC suspended all visitation following the March 11 public health emergency declared by Gov. Mike Dunleavy.
“We are excited to be able to open our facilities to the public for visitation once again,” said Commissioner Nancy Dahlstrom. “This has been a challenging year and we appreciate everyone’s patience and flexibility as we gradually restore our facilities to their pre-COVID operations.”
Those who wish to visit people housed in DOC facilities must make an appointment for visitation, wear a face mask at all times, and are subject to screening upon entry. No physical contact is allowed at any time between DOC inmates and members of the public during visitation. Inmates must be two weeks out of their final vaccination to receive visitation from members of the public.
At Alaska’s largest prison Goose Creek Correctional Center, more inmates have completed their vaccination series than at any other DOC facility in the state. Goose Creek was the first Alaska correctional facility to have a positive case form an inmate and In January, 1,271 of 1,300 total GCCC inmates had tested positive for COVID-19. As of last week, 866 individual inmates had received 1,600 doses of vaccination, with 735 who have completed their series. Statewide, 4,313 doses have been given to 2,677 inmates with 1,839 who have completed their series.
Since the start of the pandemic, 30,457 COVID-19 tests have been distributed to inmates statewide. Of those, 254 positive tests were among remand population and 2,145 positive cases came from general population inmates. There were 27,273 negative tests and 192 test results are still pending.
Anchorage and Ketchikan Correctional Centers both have had recent positive cases, and will not reopen to public visitation on April 21.