HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — The Pennsylvania prison system announced Thursday it is stopping in-person visits for the thousands of inmates who are not vaccinated against COVID-19. The Corrections Department also said it will begin housing unvaccinated inmates together next week.

Corrections Secretary John Wetzel said the policy will limit the contact that the unvaccinated have with potential carriers of the coronavirus.

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The changes won’t affect inmates’ access to classes and programs. Additional terminals will be installed in the unvaccinated units for video visitation.

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Nearly 8,000 inmates in state prisons are not vaccinated, or about one in five.

The prison system provides vaccinations to all inmates who want one. It also requires everyone to wear masks indoors.

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