The DOC today announced that it is combatting a 58-case cluster of inmate Covid-19 cases at Sussex Correctional Institution (SCI) Georgetown. Most inmates had no symptoms.
All inmates have been issued facemasks and SCi is temporarily not accepting new inmates
On Friday, theDOC announced that after six weeks with no inmates testing positive for Covid-19 in any of the state’s correctional facilities, monitoring revealeda new cluster of positive cases among the inmate population at Sussex Correctional Institution. These cases are the first at the prison since the Coronavirus pandemic began.
SCI had avoided a nearby outbreak tied to poultry processing plants in Georgetown and other areas of Sussex County. Prisons, nursing homes and other institutional settings have seen clusters of Covid-19 cases.
“The Delaware Department of Correction has demonstrated it can contain and treat Covid-19 in our correctional facilities, and we are taking all necessary measures to prevent further spread of theillness at Sussex Correctional Institution,”Commissioner Claire DeMatteis said.“We are employing all of the tools at our disposal to get ahead of its potential spread, including moving inmates with underlying health issues to other facilities, opening a COVID Treatment Center at SCI and expandingtesting of asymptomatic inmates and staff.”
Last week, after three inmates at SCI showed symptoms of Covid-19 infection and tested positive for the illness, theDOC immediately initiated contact tracing toidentify, isolate and proactivelytest individuals who came into sustained contact with these inmates. After new inmate test results were received, additionalmitigation measures wereimplementedon top of DOC’sexisting protocols, including:
Today the department announced that the following additional mitigation measures are being taken at SCI:
- All programming is being temporarily suspended for one week in an effort to restrict movement across the facility. Inmates will continue to be provided recreation time, including in outside recreation areas.
- SCI is not accepting any new prisoners on a temporary basis.
- All 900 SCI inmates are beingtested for the illness.
Fifty-eightSCI inmates have currentlytested positive for COVID-19, including 48who areasymptomatic of illnessand 10whoare symptomatic.
A total of 51have been transferred to DOC’sCovid-19 Treatment Center at theJames T. Vaughn Correctional Center, Smyrna, four are being treated in the prison infirmary, andthree are being treated in stable condition in area hospitals.
Vaughn converted an unused unit for Covid-19 cases. The prison has seen a decline in its population.
Additionally, the DOC has temporarily suspended in-person visitation at Baylor Women’s Correctional Institution (BWCI) after two contract healthcare workers at the facility tested positive for COVID-19.
Two additional BWCI healthcare contract workers have COVID-19 test results pending. All BWCI inmates are being carefully monitored, including twice-daily temperature checks. No BWCI inmates have tested positive for the illness, and none are registering symptoms of COVID-19.
Across all correctional facilities, 11 DOC staff and 2healthcare contractorshave tested positive for Covid-19,while 87 DOC staff and healthcare contractors assigned to DOC facilitieshave recovered from the illness.