Department of Correction announces further on-site restrictions

DOVER — The Delaware Department of Correction will further restrict programming in its facilities as a precaution against the spread of COVID-19, officials announced Wednesday.

“We are taking deliberate steps every day to protect the health and well-being of our staff, inmates, contractors and members of the public,” Commissioner Claire DeMatteis said in a prepared statement. “That means we must make difficult choices about who has access to our facilities. We recognize the impact of our many program providers who contribute to quality of life among our inmates and their reentry success through opportunities for faith exploration, self-improvement, and community engagement. Where possible, we are working to continue these initiatives through virtual video programming.”

The announcement follows restrictions rolled out earlier this month for on-site program volunteers who are over the age of 60 or have an underlying health condition that could make them more vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus. The restriction announced today is effective immediately, a news release stated.

In the announcement, officials said that DOC is committed to maintaining as much programming as possible at its Level V prison and Level IV work release and violation of probation facilities during the COVID-19 response. 

The Department will continue some programming to be provided in-person by on-site providers, including drug treatment, sex offender and DUI programming, the release said. 

Certain programs and activities, including prison education and religious services, will continue by utilizing video conference capabilities. Other programs impacted by today’s restriction will have the option to continue through a web-based video platform, where available.

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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