COVID-19 cluster found in a Delaware prison | Delaware First Media
Delaware Public Media

COVID-19 cluster found in a Delaware prison

Nov 16, 2020

Delaware’s Department of Correction reports a new cluster of COVID-19 cases at one First State prison.

Officials say 18 inmates in a single building at the Vaughn Correctional Center near Smyrna have tested positive for COVID since Friday.


DOC says the cases were caught as part of proactive screening and testing. Six of the inmates show no symptoms and the other 12 have minor symptoms.  All 18 were transferred to the COVID-19 Treatment Center at Vaughn.

We are acting aggressively through monitoring, testing, and treatment to contain these cases and eradicate the illness from this facility," said DOC Claire DeMatteis in a statement. “To date, DOC medical personnel have administered more than 5,700 COVID-19 tests among the inmate population, and we will continue to screen, quarantine, test, and treat inmates to mitigate the risks of this global pandemic.”

Three of the newcases at Vaughn involve inmates who transferred into the facility in late September.  They tested negative before coming to Delaware and again during their 14-0day quarantine before joining the general prison population.

DOC says these are the only current active cases of COVID among inmates in the state’s prison system. There are also 18 current cases among staff and contractors at four DOC facilities, including 7 at Baylor Women’s prison in New Castle and 5 at Howard Young prison in Wilmington.

Delaware prisons have now seen 580 inmate cases since the pandemic began in March, including 11 inmates deaths connected to the virus.

Last Thursday, the Dept. of Correction temporarily suspended prison visitation at all of its facilities in response to the rising number of COVID cases statewide.