Corrections reports death of inmate, 81, from combination of conditions including coronavirus


The Delaware Department of Correction (DOC) announced thatJim Hunter, Jr., an 81 year-old inmate with underlying health conditions who was housed at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center (JTVCC),died on Sunday, May 10at Bayhealth, Dover, fromcomplications from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), diabetes, andCOVID.

Hunterwas part of a minimum security housing unit that hasbeen closely monitored since April 8. When Hunter was tested onApril 13, he testednegative for COVID-19.When Hunter was admitted to Bayhealth Hospital, Kent Campus on April 23 for non-COVID treatment, asecond COVID-19 test was administered and returned positive. Hunter’s condition deteriorated over the past several daysand he had been receiving treatment in the hospital’sIntensive Care Unit.

Hunter, of Dover,has been in DOC custody since 2015 and was serving a 10-year sentence forUnlawful Sexual Contact With a Victim Under 13 Years and Sexual Abuse of a Child.

The department announcedthe number ofinmate COVID recoveries have reached 55 – an increase of 11 recoveriessince last Friday. Everyinmatefrom Sussex Community Corrections Center who tested positive last month througha combination of proactive testing and testing of symptomatic individuals has now recovered from the illness.

The facility has been closely watched because it is in the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in Delaware. Corrections centers, meat and poultry processing plants and nursing homes have all been the locations of COVID-19 outbreaks around the nation.

“Across our correctional system today,only 15 inmate COVID patients from onlytwo facilities areexperiencing symptoms of illness, while 60 inmates with positive test results, whose illness was caught early through close monitoring or were identified through proactive testing, aredemonstrating no symptoms of illness and are continuing to be closely monitored in isolation at our COVID-19 treatment center,” Commissioner Claire DeMatteis said.β€œIt is important and encouraging to note that over the past six days the number of inmates recovering is significantly outpacing the number of new cases. DOC continues to aggressively test, isolate, treat and trace to prevent widespread contamination of this virus.”

The DOC also announced thatoneadditional inmate and additionalstaff members have tested positive for COVID over the past three days. You can look at a chart ofpositive COVID-19 cases among DOC employees, contracted staff and inmates for each DOC facilityby clicking HERE.

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