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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.

Delaware Dept. of Correction reports COVID spike in prisons may be receding

Delaware Public Media

Delaware’s Department of Correction says it is starting to see spread of COVID-19 in state’s prison system slow.

Active cases among inmates during this current prison spike peaked at 465 Sunday, more than double the 227 cases reported two weeks ago. 

But a DOC spokesman says that number dropped to 379 Monday as more inmates recover, and DOC expects further decline over the next 24-28 hours

The current outbreak reached five different prison facilities with the vast majority at Vaughn Correctional Center near Smyrna and Howard Young Correctional Center in Wilmington. Currently, four facilities have active cases with Sussex Correctional Center and Baylor women's prison joining the Vaughn and Young centers.

Vaughn cases dropped from 250 Sunday to 154, Cases at Young ticked up to 192 from 185 on Sunday.  Baylor also saw a slightincrease from 27 to 31.

DOC also reports 36 cases among staff and contractors at Vaughn as of Monday.  33 staff and contactors at Young have tested positive with active COVID cases.

The cases have largely been asymptomatic.  Currently, only 32 of the 379 active inmates cases are showing symptoms.

A DOC spokesman says it has found current COVID infections in its facilities spread more easily through the air than the spring and summer COVID cases, but  symptoms of illness are largely less severe than in the spring and summer cases.

To help control the spread, DOC has 1,919 hundred inmates in precautionary quarantine and says it will continue aggressive proactive testing, focusing on asymptomatic inmates in housing units where positive cases are identified.

Delaware’s prison system has seen 1,332 COVID cases among inmates since the pandemic began in March.  11 inmates have died from the virus, but none since September.

This story has been updated

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.
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