NEW YORK — The New York City Department of Correction is temporarily suspending visits at jail facilities because of a rise in coronavirus cases.

In a letter, DOC Commissioner Vincent Schiraldi said the COVID-19 positivity rate at Rikers was over 17% as of Tuesday.

He went on to say, "All indications suggest that our jail population faces an equal or greater level of risk from COVID now as it did at the start of the pandemic."

Schiraldi says about 45% of people in custody are at least partially vaccinated. 

Eighty-five percent of uniformed staff have had at least one dose.

The DOC says congregate programs and services including religious services are suspended as well.

Tele-visits will be offered five days a week in place of in-person visits.