Delaware inmate dies from COVID-19; 4,034 total cases reported in state

DOVER, Delaware (WPVI) -- A Delaware inmate has died from the coronavirus on Saturday night, officials have announced.

Robert Francisco, 79, was an inmate at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center (JTVCC) and suffered from underlying health conditions.

Francisco was part of a minimum security housing unit that has been closely monitored since April 8, with twice daily temperature checks and proactive COVID-19 testing on April 10, said officials.

Francisco, of Newark has been in DOC custody since 1986 and was serving a 60-year sentence for unlawful sexual intercourse.

"The Delaware Department of Correction and our healthcare professionals continue our rigorous efforts to contain any cases of COVID-19 to a minimum and medium housing facility at the prison in Smyrna and a work release center in Sussex County," said Commissioner Claire DeMatteis. "The 16 inmates who have tested positive and have symptoms of the virus are receiving excellent care. An additional 22 inmates who have tested positive through our aggressive proactive testing are asymptomatic with no signs of a fever, cough, shortness of breath or other symptoms. These asymptomatic inmates remain in quarantine in the DOC COVID Treatment Center for further screenings and monitoring."


On Sunday, the Delaware Division of Public Health announced eight additional deaths related to COVID-19, bringing the state's total to 120.

Individuals who have died from COVID-19 ranged in ages from 32 to 103 years old.

To date, 4,034 cases have been confirmed in the state.


Delaware residents will be required to wear masks or other face coverings in public settings once a new order by Gov. John Carney takes effect on Tuesday morning.

The governor on Saturday modified an emergency declaration to include the new requirement, which doesn't apply to children who are 12 years old or younger. The governor's office says children who are 2 years old or younger must not wear a face covering due to the risk of suffocation.

The places where cloth face coverings will be required includes grocery stores, convenience stores, pharmacies, doctors' offices and on public transportation.
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