By Associated Press - Wednesday, November 11, 2020

DOVER, Del. (AP) - In-person visitation for some Delaware prisons is being temporarily suspended beginning Thursday as a precaution to protect inmates and staff from COVID-19, officials said.

The Delaware Department of Correction said in a news release on Wednesday that the suspensions take effect at all of its Level V prison and Level IV work release and violation of probation facilities. The suspension comes as public health officials report rapidly increasing numbers of positive COVID-19 test results in the general population and indications of significant community spread.

“Regular interaction with loved ones is very important and the DOC provides phone access in all correctional facilities as well as video visitation in every Level V prison to facilitate ongoing communication between inmates and their family and community supports,” Commissioner Claire DeMatteis said in the news release.

The department cites aggressive cleaning, screening, and mitigation measures dating back to the spring as a factor in the report of only two isolated cases of COVID-19 among inmates. Both cases are from Sussex Correctional Institution, the news release said.

There have been no new positive inmate COVID-19 test results since Oct. 29, the department said.

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