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The wait is over. Starting today, Tuesday, March 30, visitors will be allowed to see inmates at the Cooke County Jail after the ongoing coronavirus pandemic suspended visits for more than a year.

Visits with male inmates will be allowed at the jail, 300 County Road 451, from 1 to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Visits with female inmates will be allowed from 7:30-9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, according to information provided by Cooke County Sheriff Ray Sappington.

Visits will be modified in the interest of everyone's safety, officials said.

Available space will reduce the number of people allowed during visitation sessions from 12 to four visitors at a time. Unused visitation booths will be taped or marked off to promote separation.

Even during registration, only four people will be allowed in the visitation area at a time, according to the new jail policy.

There will also only be one 20-minute visit per week instead of two.

Jail officials said all new, quarantined inmates will not be allowed visits for 14 days and must be clear of any coronavirus symptoms.

The new policy also says everyone — inmates and visitors — must wear a face mask while entering and leaving the visitation area. The facial covers may be removed once sitting at the visitation station. Law enforcement said refusal to comply with the rules will be grounds for ending the visit and possible refusal of future visitation.

To help slow the spread of the coronavirus, visitation phones and booth areas will be sanitized between visits.

Hand sanitizer is available in the lobby area for visitor use, officials said.

Group religious activities are suspended until further notice.

Visitation was last held at the jail March 12, 2020, according to an archived Register report.

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