vaughn prison

James T. Vaughn Correctional Center near Smyrna

The Delores J. Baylor Women's Correctional Institution is reporting its first cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic in March.

Thirty-two inmates there have tested positive for the virus, according to the Delaware Department of Correction, which is conducting pro-active testing and screenings routinely inside its facilities.

The DOC, said through contact tracing, the source of infection was likely a contract behavioral health care professional, who was wearing personal protective equipment.

A cluster of inmates with COVID-19 is also growing at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center near Smyrna. Now, 45 inmates have tested positive at that facility, up from 18 just four days ago.

Two cellmates at Howard R. Young Correctional Institution and one work release offender at Sussex Community Corrections Center have also tested positive.

All 80 inmates are being treated at the Vaughn COVID-19 treatment center at Vaughn. According to DOC, 47 of the 80 inmates are asymptomatic and 33 have minor symptoms. None have required hospitalization to date.

"All inmates who have tested positive are receiving round-the-clock treatment, and our extensive screening, testing, and cleaning continues across every correctional facility," said DOC Commissioner Claire DeMatteis in a written statement.

The spike in cases comes a week after DOC suspended in-person visitation at prisons statewide as COVID-19 cases soar to new records.