Acting Commissioner of Prisons Dennis Pulchan has said there are no cases of the coronavirus among prison officers or inmates at any of the prisons.
Speaking with Newsday on Wednesday, hours after it was announced that visits to prisons had been cancelled, Pulchan said the decision to forego public visits came out of caution, to reduce the chances of infection.
"We are 100 per cent covid(19)-free so far and we intend to keep it that way. That's why we're taking the kind of measures we are taking, and aggressively taking these precautions, because we need to protect the inmates as well as the officers in there."
A media release on the official Facebook account of the prison service announced that in-person visits to all prisons have been cancelled until further notice.
Despite this, relatives of inmates will still be able to contact them via the prison's Virtual Visit facility and phone calls.
According to prison regulations, all prison officers, visitors and inmates are subject to routine screening before being allowed entry.
Inmates in particular will be made to shower before entering and examined by the prison's infirmary officer for symptoms of the disease Prisoners who refuse to submit to screening will be put in isolation.