11 new COVID-19 deaths in Delaware but otherwise signs remain good

DOVER — Although the latest coronavirus update contained just 34 new cases, it also included 11 new COVID-related deaths, the most in six days. The state now stands at 386 deaths and 9,746 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of 6 p.m. Wednesday.

According to the Division of Public Health, 142 people were hospitalized for COVID-19, the lowest level in two months. Twenty-eight were critically ill.

DPH said 5,562 people have recovered, meaning they’ve gone a week without symptoms.

There were 14 deaths in the four days before Thursday’s update.

The state announced its first case March 11. There were 9,191 cases, 192 hospitalizations and 345 deaths one week ago and 6,166 cases, 285 hospitalizations and 202 deaths as of May 6, four weeks before the latest data.

Total hospitalizations and the percentage of new positive tests are trending downward, prompting Delaware to take steps toward reopening. Many businesses were allowed to open with strict limits Monday, and more restrictions will be waived in the coming weeks.

Still, officials warn the virus is not beaten yet, urging Delawareans to continue social distancing and wearing face coverings in public.

So far, about 1.01 percent of Delawareans have tested positive for the virus. DPH said there have been 65,909 tests, although that figure is preliminary and does not include an unknown number of results that are pending.

The most recent deaths involved six women and five men ranging in age from 66 to 92. Eight lived in Sussex County, while three lived in Kent County. All 11 had underlying health conditions, as did about 86 percent of the people who died from COVID in the state.

Nine were residents of long-term care facilities, a statement that describes about two-thirds of all fatalities here.

Of Delaware’s positive cases, about 44 percent have involved residents of Sussex even though the southernmost county has just a quarter of the state’s population. However, the spread appears to have slowed there, owing in large part to concerted efforts to stamp it out.

There have been 4,314 cases and 144 deaths involving Sussex, with 3,925 and 173 involving New Castle County. Kent has seen 1,454 cases and 69 fatalities.

Additionally, the addresses for 53 people who have caught the virus are currently unknown, DPH said.

Delawareans who have had confirmed cases range in age from less than a year old to 103, with deaths involving people from 21 to 103.

Just 6 percent of fatalities involved people younger than 50 even though 58 percent of Delawareans who have caught the virus fit that description. Eighty percent of deaths involved people 65 or older.

There have been 5,355 cases and 204 deaths involving females and 4,347 cases and 182 deaths involving males. Forty-four cases involve people of currently unknown sex.

By race, there have been 2,819 cases and 234 deaths involving non-Hispanic whites, 2,734 cases and 24 deaths involving Hispanics or Latinos, 2,584 cases and 102 deaths involving non-Hispanic blacks, 150 cases and one death involving Asians or Pacific Islanders and 485 cases and four deaths involving people from another race or multiple races. In 974 instances and 21 deaths, race is unknown.

Adjusted for population size, whites in Delaware are more than seven times less likely than Hispanics and almost three times less likely than blacks to have COVID-19. However, although whites, blacks and Hispanics each represent a little more than a quarter of the coronavirus cases here, whites make up 61 percent of deaths, while Hispanics account for just 6 percent.

Also Thursday, the Department of Correction said just four of the 148 inmates with confirmed COVID-19 cases still have the virus. All are at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center.

More than half of the 148 were asymptomatic.

Seven inmates have died from the virus. They were, on average, 71 years old and had serious health issues, the Correction Department said.

DPH has stopped offering information on specific deaths and is providing updated statistics on nursing home cases only on Fridays.

Based on guidance from the federal government, Delaware is counting deaths of individuals with laboratory-confirmed cases and people who had symptoms consistent with COVID-19 and were exposed but never tested. Individuals who tests show previously had the virus but no longer do are not counted in the cumulative total.

Because of volume, the hospitalization statistics now include non-Delawareans, although all other totals are just Delaware residents, according to DPH.

For information on contact tracing and free testing, key parts of the state’s plan to stamp out the spread of the virus, visit coronavirus.delaware.gov/contact-tracing/ and coronavirus.delaware.gov/testing.

Helpful Coronavirus links

Delaware Division of Health Coronavirus Page
CDC: About the Coronavirus Disease 2019
CDC: What to do if You Are Sick
Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center
AP News Coronavirus Coverage
Reopening Delaware: Resources for Businesses
Delaware Phase 2 guidance

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