First Delaware inmate at Sussex Correctional Center with underlying health conditions dies from covid-19

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Amid a coronavirus outbreak in the Delaware Correctional System, officials report their first covid-19 related death in spite of all the preventive measures and efforts being made statewide.

DOVER (DE): The Delaware Department of Correction (DOC) today announced that John W. Rosciolo, a 78 year-old inmate with underlying health conditions from Sussex Correctional Institution died on Friday, July 24 at Bayhealth Hospital, Kent Campus from complications from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), coronary artery disease, and COVID.

According to a news release, after registering a fever on July 5, Rosciolo received a rapid COVID-19 test as DOC initiated testing of all inmates as part of its aggressive COVID-19 mitigation efforts after a cluster of cases was identified through proactive monitoring and testing.

Officials said after his positive COVID-19 test result was returned, Rosciolo was transferred to James T. Vaughn Correctional Center where he initially received treatment in the prison infirmary and in the facility’s COVID-19 Treatment Center.  As symptoms developed he was admitted to Bayhealth Hospital, Kent Campus for treatment on July 9, where his family was engaged in treatment decision-making.  In recent days Rosciolo’s condition deteriorated and he was pronounced dead by hospital staff at 2:04 a.m. today.

Rosciolo’s body was released to the Delaware Division of Forensic Science to determine cause of death.

Rosciolo, from Millsboro, DE, has been in DOC custody since 1978 and was serving a life sentence for Second Degree Murder.

DOC earlier this week announced that three-quarters of the inmates who tested positive this month for COVID-19 at two facilities have recovered from the illness, and that most inmates who tested positive have remained symptom-free.  274 inmates who tested positive this month have recovered as of July 24, and today only 18 inmates with active COVID-19 cases are displaying any symptoms of illness, including 5 who are hospitalized and 2 who are receiving treatment in prison infirmaries.

There has been a total of 8 deaths in the Delaware Correctional System. This includes 7 deaths that resulted from complications of serious chronic diseases and COVID-19.

Get updated information about the DOC’s response to COVID-19 and read previous announcements of positive COVID-19 cases by visiting, and follow decorrection on Facebook and Twitter.


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