CHICAGO (CBS) — Inmates at Cook County Jail can have visitors again, for the first time in nearly three months.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Cook County Sheriff’s office halted all in-person visitation at the jail on March 15, except for attorneys to meet with their clients. Inmates were given extra phone time, and were allowed to access video conferencing stations to have visits online.

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Monday afternoon, the sheriff’s office announced in-person family visits have now resumed, as the number of virus cases at the jail “has dropped precipitously over the past two months.”

“We have worked hard to find alternative methods to allow families to stay in touch with detainees, but nothing can replace seeing loved ones face-to-face, and that only adds to the already significant stress experienced by the families of those incarcerated,” Sheriff Tom Dart said in a statement. “We believe this is not only beneficial for those in our custody, but also for our staff, since it reduces anxiety among detainees.”

As of Monday, 36 inmates at the jail were positive for the novel coronavirus, according to the sheriff’s office. Another 511 detainees who had previously tested positive, but are now negative for the virus, are recovering and being monitored at a recovery facility at the jail.

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Seven inmates who contracted COVID-19 at the jail have died, according to the sheriff’s office.

“An aggressive plan centered on strategic testing protocols, comprehensive social distancing measures, and immediate isolation and quarantine of symptomatic individuals has led to the containment and steep decline in the number of new cases,” the sheriff’s office stated in a news release.

Dart’s office said family visitation resumed on Friday, with inmates able to meet with a family member or friend for up to 15 minutes in the yard of Division 1, where ten visitation areas have been set up, approximately 30 feet away from each other. All visitors will be screened for COVID-19, and their temperatures will be checked before entering the jail.

Visitors also will be provided with a mask and hand sanitizer, and are required to stay at least 6 feet away from inmates during their visit. Visitation is available between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. every day, weather permitting.

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While visitation was suspended, inmates were allowed up to 30 minutes of free phone time in addition to their normal phone time. The jail also installed video conferencing stations in every division so inmates could visit friends and family online.