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Central Texas Local News | kcentv.com

Williamson County Sheriff's Office announces changes to combat spread of coronavirus

All emergency calls will continue as usual, but non-emergency or routine calls will be handled over the phone.

WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Texas — The Williamson County Sheriff's Office is taking extra precautions to keep the public and their deputies safe during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

All emergency calls will continue as usual, but non-emergency or routine calls will be handled over the phone.

If a deputy is required, they'll be keeping their distance and ask if anyone in the household has symptoms of COVID-19.

Visitors into the office are now restricted, and all sheriff academies and classes are postponed.

RELATED: Austin Police Department makes changes to tackle coronavirus pandemic

The full list of changes is as follows:

Sheriff’s office operations/patrol

  • Emergency/Life-Threatening calls or “in progress” calls for service will be handled in the same manner as always and will not change.
  • Non-Emergency/Routine calls for service will be handled over the telephone, if possible. If a deputy is required, our communications staff have been directed to ask if anyone in the household is exhibiting symptoms of the COVID-19 virus.
  • Deputies will try to maintain a “social distance” out of concern and respect for the community.
  • Fingerprinting services for civilians have been suspended until further notice.
  • The Sheriff’s Citizens Academy has been postponed until further notice.
  • The Sheriff’s Junior Academies for the summer are under review.
  • The Sheriff’s Self Defense Classes are postponed until further notice.
  • The Sheriff’s Community Services programs are postponed until further notice.
  • All volunteer services have been suspended until further notice.
  • All 68A (vehicle inspections) have been suspended until further notice.
  • Visitors coming into the Secure Area of the Sheriff’s Office will be restricted.
  • Community members are encouraged to call-in where possible instead of coming to the sheriff’s office.

Jail/Corrections

  • Enhanced medical screening will continue for prisoners and will be extended to peace officers, attorneys and all staff entering the facility
  • Medical staff will assess all incoming arrestees specifically for COVID-19 in the Sally Port. If the arrestee is showing symptoms of the virus, the arresting officer will be redirected to take the arrestee to a hospital. The arrestee will not be accepted in the jail until he/she has been cleared by a doctor.
  • Pursuant to a recommendation from Texas Commission on Jail Standards, all face-to-face visits for inmates have been cancelled until further notice except for attorney visits.

Access to the jail will be limited to persons with a legitimate law enforcement purpose, the sheriff's office said.

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