Another big jump in COVID cases as 215 more reported

Dr. Rami Peri’s staff gives instructions during initial COVID-19 screening at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Georgetown Saturday. Screening was held from noon to 6 p.m. Delaware State News/Glenn Rolfe

DOVER — Delaware saw an increase of 215 COVID-19 cases Saturday, with six additional deaths. There have now been 2,538 cases and 67 deaths.

The Division of Public Health said 249 people are currently hospitalized, with 62 critically ill. Four hundred sixty-six people have recovered, meaning they have gone without symptoms for at least a week.

The most recent deaths are a 51-year-old woman from Sussex County, a 58-year-old woman from New Castle County, a 72-year-old woman from New Castle County, a 76-year-old man from Sussex County, an 87-year-old woman from New Castle County and a 92-year-old woman from Sussex County.

The 51-, 58-, 72- and 92-year-olds were residents of long-term care facilities.

There have been 155 positive COVID-19 cases involving residents of long-term care facilities in Delaware, with 38 deaths. According to DPH, that includes 12 deaths at Genesis Healthcare’s Milford Center, 11 at Little Sisters of the Poor, five at Brandywine Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, two at Atlantic Shores Rehabilitation and Health Center and one at Governor Bacon Health Center.

Additionally, DPH said six facilities in New Castle and one in Sussex have had one death each, although it is only naming centers with multiple deaths. Governor Bacon appears to be an exception because it is run by the state.

Based on new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, DPH is now counting deaths of not just individuals with laboratory-confirmed coronavirus cases but also Delawareans who had symptoms consistent with COVID-19 and were exposed to a confirmed case but never tested.

There have been 33 deaths in New Castle County, eight in Kent County and 26 in Sussex County.

Delaware announced its first laboratory-confirmed case March 11.

As of April 11, there were 1,479 occurrences and 33 deaths, with 593 cases and 14 deaths one week prior to that.

Of the 2,538 COVID-19 cases, a total that includes current and former ones, there are 1,205 involving New Castle Countians, 886 involving Sussex Countians, 417 involving Kent Countians and 30 involving people whose residence is unknown.

Those who have had confirmed cases range in age from 0 to 98, with deaths involving people from ages 33 to 96, according to DPH. The vast majority of deaths have involved the elderly, with about half of those who have died being at least 80.

There have been 1,155 cases involving males, 1,375 involving females and eight involving a person of unknown gender.

As of Saturday, there have been 12,256 negative test results, DPH said, although it cautions the figure is preliminary and should not be used as a substitute for the overall number of Delawareans who have been tested.

The division did not release many additional details involving the cases, citing health privacy laws.

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

The state began requiring samples include patient race in addition to other demographic data like age last week.

Officials say everyone needs to avoid contact with others. Anyone who believes he or she may be sick should not go out except for medical appointments and should contact a primary care provider before heading to the emergency room or an urgent care center. A person experiencing a medical emergency such as significant trouble breathing should call 911.

Symptoms of COVID-19 can include fever, coughing, shortness of breath, sore throat, muscle fatigue, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain or lack of appetite. People who are sick with any of those and need essential supplies should ask someone else to go to the grocery store or the pharmacy instead. They also are urged not to go to work.

Also Saturday, the Department of Correction announced six positive COVID-19 test results, including three asymptomatic inmates who received proactive testing a few days before.

The new cases involve a correctional officer from Sussex Community Corrections Center in Georgetown, three asymptomatic inmates there and two inmates at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna. So far, 20 inmates, have tested positive, along with 18 correctional officers.

“To date we have contained COVID-19 cases among inmates to one housing unit in one prison and one housing pod in one community corrections facility,” Commissioner Claire DeMatteis said in a statement. “Of the 20 inmates who have tested positive, only eight have symptoms, which are being treated with round-the-clock care. Eleven others are well into recovery or remain asymptomatic. We will continue to be vigilant against this virus.”

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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