2nd prison guard in maximum security unit tests positive for COVID-19

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The Delaware Department of Correction announced that a secondcorrectional officer at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center near Smyrna has testedpositive forCOVID-19.

The Correctional Officer last worked at Vaughn on Tuesday, March 31, where he was assigned to the maximum-security area.

Later that day,after beginning to experience flu-like symptoms, the officersought medical attention and a COVID-19 test was administered.

ThepositiveCOVID-19 test result was receivedlate afternoonon Saturday. Officers who worked in close contact over the past 14 days are being notified to self-isolate and monitor themselves for symptoms.

This Officerlikely hadcontactwhilein the maximum-security area withthe Correctional Officer who tested positive for COVID-19.The case was announced on Friday.BothOfficers arecontinuing to self-isolateand are recoveringat home.

“The DOC is acting swiftly at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center and across our facilitiesto confront the risks of COVID-19, with new protectiveand quarantinemeasures on top of the rigorous prevention and screening practices that have been in place for several weeks,”Commissioner Claire DeMatteis said.

No inmate within Delaware’s correctional system has tested positive for COVID-19.

The DOC is monitoring all officers, other employeesand inmates at JTVCCfor any symptoms and will immediately isolate, assess and treat any individual who demonstrates any sign of illness. Additionally, DOCis taking the following steps to mitigate the COVID-19risk to the JTVCCmaximum securityhousing area where the two officers worked:

  • Inmates and staff are undergoing twice daily symptom checks, including a temperature check with a thermometer.
  • Inmate movement is beingfurtherlimited, and inmates getting exercise individually in an isolated area.
  • All officersare required towear face masks and gloves at all times.
  • Additional deep cleaning of themaximum-security area continues.

All personsentering any DOC facility are screened for COVID-19, including a series of questions and a forehead temperature check with a digital thermometer.

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