The Delaware Department of Correction reported Friday that 22 more inmates at the Sussex Correctional Institution have tested positive for coronavirus.
Three inmates also tested positive earlier in the week after the correctional system had gone six weeks without any inmates testing positive in any of its facilities. These are the first indications of the virus since the start of the pandemic in early March.
The additional cases were determined based on contact tracing that was started after the first three cases were found. “This is why we continue to contact trace, proactively test, and closely monitor our inmate population as part of our comprehensive COVID-19 mitigation strategy to guard against the spread of the novel coronavirus,” Correction Commissioner Claire DeMatteis said.
17 of the inmates are asymptomatic, and eight are symptomatic. Two are in area hospitals. The 23 others have been transferred to the treatment center at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center.
The DOC Friday released this list of mitigation procedures at SCI:
- Contact tracing is being used to identify, isolate and test individuals who came into sustained contact with the COVID-positive inmates.
- All inmates in the housing units in which the COVID-positive inmates had been assigned have been quarantined and are receiving twice daily temperature checks.
- All SCI inmates have been issued face masks.
- In-person visitation at SCI has been suspended as a precaution to protect inmates and staff from transmission of the illness. In-person visitation had resumed earlier this week across DOC facilities. Note: In-person visitation at other DOC facilities will continue at this time with current restrictions in place.
- Voluntary COVID-19 testing is being offered to all SCI and MCCC staff in recognition that the greatest threat to correctional institutions remains transmission from the community.
- Additional deep cleanings, including decontamination with specialized fogging machines, are being conducted.