Delaware inmate tests positive for coronavirus; Sussex work release suspended

DOVER — The Department of Correction announced Monday an inmate has tested positive for coronavirus, the 21st so far.

The agency said it has tested 136 inmates, with 21 positive results, 12 pending and the rest negative.

It also Monday announced the suspension of work release in Sussex County.

Work release has been significantly reduced in other parts of the state — only 14 offenders (all in New Castle County) are currently reporting to work release employers. Participants are limited to employers in essential industries that use strict screening and cleaning measures.

The latest positive COVID-19 test result is an inmate from the Sussex Community Corrections Center in Georgetown. The inmate reported mild symptoms Friday and was isolated and tested. After the test came positive on Sunday, he was moved to the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center COVID treatment center in Smyrna.

He is being monitored there and has no fever, the agency said.

He was previously housed near multiple inmates who have tested positive.

Of the 21 inmates who have tested positive, 15 were housed at Vaughn and six were at SCCC. Currently, one is being monitored in the Vaughn treatment center, one is receiving treatment in the infirmary there and four are in the hospital in stable condition.

The Department of Correction said it would not be releasing further information due to privacy concerns.

“We are continuing to take aggressive precautions through round-the-clock monitoring within our facilities, continuous screening and cleaning operations, and daily temperature checks of more than 1,000 inmates,” Commissioner Claire DeMatteis said. “We have also conducted 136 COVID tests of our inmates to ensure that treatment is immediately provided where needed and to help contain the spread of COVID-19 in our correctional system.”

In addition to the inmates, 20 correctional or probation and parole officers in six facilities have tested positive.

More information about the agency’s response to COVID-19 can be found at

Helpful Coronavirus links

Delaware Division of Health Coronavirus Page
CDC: About the Coronavirus Disease 2019
CDC: What to do if You Are Sick
Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center
AP News Coronavirus Coverage
Reopening Delaware: Resources for Businesses
Delaware Phase 2 guidance

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