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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 reports new COVID cases in prisons

Delaware Public Media

The First State is seeing more spread of COVID-19 in its prison system.

There are currently 345 active COVID-19 cases among Delaware inmates. That’s up from 227 a week ago. 29 are currently symptomatic.

The outbreak is at four different facilities with the vast majority at Vaughn Correctional Center near Smyrna and Howard Young Correctional Center in Wilmington. Vaughn now has 233 cases and Howard Young has 118.

A spokesperson for the Department of Correction says there have been 190 positive tests since last Friday along with 100 new patient recoveries among inmates.

There are also 81 active COVID cases among prison staff spread out at multiple facilities.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan recently issued an executive order releasing around 1,200 inmates from that state’s prison system to try to slow the spread of the virus.

Gov. John Carney notes Delaware has restricted in-person visitations and says he’s given some consideration to releasing prisoners.

“We do look at and have looked at releasing and we have put individuals up to the courts and the board of parole for release when appropriate,” said Carney.

A Department of Correction spokesperson says 1,900 inmates are currently in quarantine as a proactive protective measure to reduce the risk of transmission.

Carney says the state is throwing less people in jail during the pandemic as well.

“We’re not incarcerating and detaining as many in normal circumstances,” said Carney. “The numbers are way down—somewhere around 4,000. It’s probably around 25 or so percent lower than it was when I first became governor.”

The state prison system is approaching 1,000 cases since the pandemic began - with a total of 987 since March.  11 inmates have died from the virus - none since September.

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