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This page offers all of Delaware Public Media's ongoing coverage of the COVID-19 outbreak and how it is affecting the First State. Check here regularly for the latest new and information.

COVID-19 outbreak at Sussex prison tops 50 cases

Delaware Public Media

Delaware’s Department for Correction continues to deal with a COVID-19 outbreak at a Sussex County prison facility.

DOC reports another 33 inmates at the Sussex Correctional Institution in Georgetown have tested COVID-19 positive – bringing the total since the outbreak started last week to 58.

State officials say 48 of the 58 patients are asympotmatic.  51 are now at DOC’s COVID-19 Treatment Center at Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna. Four are being treated at the Sussex Correctional Institution’s infirmary. The other three are hospitalized – but in stable condition.

"We are employing all of the tools at our disposal to get ahead of its potential spread, including moving inmates with underlying health issues to other facilities, opening a COVID Treatment Center at SCI and expanding testing of asymptomatic inmates and staff." said DOC Commissioner Claire DeMatteis in a statement.

The Department of Correction notes it is also taking other steps to slow the virus’ spread at the facility.  DOC is temporarily suspending all programming for one week to restrict movement at the facility. It is also not accepting new inmates temporarily and it is testing all current inmates – about 900 in all – for COVID-19.

DOC had already suspended in-person visitation at Sussex Correctional Institution and given all inmates facemasks.

DOC is also suspending in-person visitation at Baylor Women's Correctional Institution after two contract healthcare workers there tested positive. Two more contract workers have tests pending.  No inmates have tested positive at Baylor.

DOC reports 11 staff members and two healthcare contractors at its facilities statewide currently have COVID-19.


Tom Byrne has been a fixture covering news in Delaware for three decades. He joined Delaware Public Media in 2010 as our first news director and has guided the news team ever since. When he's not covering the news, he can be found reading history or pursuing his love of all things athletic.