2nd Vaughn correctional officer tests positive for COVID-19


Amy Cherry

A second correctional officer has tested positive for the novel coronavirus COVID-19, the Delaware Department of Correction said Saturday night.

The DOC said the officer, who works in the maximum security area at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center, last reported to work on Tuesday, March 31, 2020. That same day, the officer began to experience flu-like symptoms and was tested for COVID-19.

The Delaware DOC said the officer "likely" had contact with the first officer who tested positive for the respiratory illness, which DOC announced to the public very late Friday night.

Officers, who were in close contact with that officer over the past 14 days have been notified to self-isolate and monitor themselves.

Both officers, who tested positive, are self-isolating at home. The facility where

they worked is being deep cleaned.

"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," said Commissioner Claire DeMatteis.

So far, no inmates have tested positive for COVID-19. Inmates are undergoing twice daily temperature checks and recreation has been limited to solo time in an isolated area.

Additionally, all correctional officers are required to wear face masks and gloves. This marks the third positive COVID-19 case for the department after a health care contractor, assigned to New Castle County Community Corrections, received a COVID-19 positive diagnosis on Thursday, 13 days after the test was administered.

That worker had not been in a DOC facility for 18 days and has since recovered.

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