HOUSTON - Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order suspending in-person visitations in all county and municipal jails in the state of Texas.
Abbott's new order doesn't affect lawyer or clergy visits to inmates.
The disaster declaration issued by the governor in the past advised jails and prisons to limit visitation.
The governor's office says this new executive order adds an extra layer of defense to contain COVID-19 hot spots and prevent community spread.
"Jails have shown to be highly susceptible to COVID-19 surges which is why we are focused on containing any potential hot spots and preventing spread both within jails and the community," said Governor Abbott. "I encourage jails to utilize virtual visitation strategies to allow for visitations in a way that protects both staff and the inmate population. The State of Texas is committed to keeping all Texans safe, protecting our most vulnerable populations, and mitigating the spread of COVID-19 throughout the Lone Star State."