WATERBURY, Vt. (AP) — The Vermont Department of Corrections is hoping to begin resuming in-person visits at the state’s prisons July 1.

Corrections Commissioner Jim Baker says family visits to incarcerated individuals will be the next focus of the department.

“We understand, and we’ve understood the entire time what a strain this has been on families, not being able to see their loved ones," Baker told WCAX-TV. "So we’re starting to plan, hopefully, on July 1st, we will slowly start rolling out visitation.”

The department is also trying to get as many incarcerated people vaccinated against COVID-19 as possible.

Currently, between 65% and 75% of the inmate population has been vaccinated.

The move by the Corrections Department comes after Republican Gov. Phil Scott lifted all COVID-19 restrictions. The state of emergency that allowed the governor to impose the COVID-19 restrictions expired at midnight Tuesday.

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NUMBERS

On Wednesday, the Vermont Department of Health reported nine new cases of the virus that causes COVID-19, bringing the statewide total since the pandemic began to nearly 24,350.

There were two people hospitalized across the state, including one in intensive care.

The number of deaths remained at 256.

The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Vermont did not increase over the past two weeks, going from 12.57 new cases a day on May 31 to 6.29 new cases a day on Monday.

The Associated Press is using data collected by Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering to measure outbreak caseloads and deaths across the United States.

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Follow AP’s coverage of the pandemic at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic.