Second Delaware Correctional Officer Tests Positive For COVID-19

The Delaware Department of Correction (DOC) announced this evening that a second Correctional Officer assigned to James T. Vaughn Correctional Center (JTVCC) has tested positive for COVID-19.

 The Correctional Officer was last at JTVCC on Tuesday, March 31, where the Officer was assigned to the maximum security housing area. Later that same day, after beginning to experience flu-like symptoms, the Officer sought medical attention, at which time a COVID-19 test was administered.  The Officer continued to isolate at home.  The positive COVID-19 test result was received late afternoon on Saturday, April 4, and verified by the DOC this evening. Officers who worked in close contact with this Officer over the past 14 days are being notified to self-isolate and monitor themselves for symptoms of the novel coronavirus.

 This Officer likely had contact while in the maximum security housing area with the Correctional Officer who tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday, April 3.  That Officer, who was last at JTVCC on Friday, March 27, began self-isolating at home on Saturday, March 28 after beginning to experience flu-like symptoms, and sought medical attention on Sunday, March 29 at which time a COVID-19 test was administered.  The positive COVID-19 test result was received on Friday, April 3, and verified and announced by the DOC that same evening.

Both Officers are continuing to self-isolate and are recovering at home.

No additional information will be provided about the identity of the Correctional Officers for privacy protection.

“The DOC is acting swiftly at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center and across our facilities to confront the risks of COVID-19, with new protective and quarantine measures 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 carefully monitoring all officers, other employees and inmates at JTVCC for any symptoms and will immediately isolate, assess and treat any individual who demonstrates any sign of illness.  Additionally, DOC is taking the following steps to mitigate the COVID-19 risk to the JTVCC maximum security housing 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 being further limited, and inmates will recreate individually in an isolated area.
  • All Officers are required to wear face masks and gloves at all times to protect Officers, medical staff and inmates.
  • Additional deep cleaning of the maximum security housing area.

 The DOC maintains robust COVID-19 screening and cleaning practices as part of an infectious disease management plan.  All persons entering any DOC facility are screened for COVID-19, including a series of questions and a forehead temperature check with a digital thermometer.  Staff who present with symptoms are sent home to self-quarantine and contact their health care provider in accordance with the established Delaware Department of Correction COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedure.  Newly-arriving inmates to DOC facilities are isolated from the rest of the inmate population for 14-days while being monitored for symptoms of respiratory infection.

Source: DOC

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