Another minor COVID increase as Delaware officially begins phase two of recovery

DOVER — Delaware announced one new coronavirus death and 76 more cases on Monday as it moved into the next phase of its reopening. The state said there have been 10,340 total cases, 423 of which resulted in fatalities.

As of 6 p.m. Sunday, 88 people were hospitalized with COVID, the fewest in 10 weeks. Thirteen were critically ill.

DPH said 6,172 Delawareans who have caught the virus have recovered, meaning they’ve gone seven days or more without symptoms. The other 40% of Delawareans who have contracted COVID-19 are either currently dealing with it or are now deceased.

The state announced its first case March 11. There were 9,981 cases, 113 hospitalizations and 398 deaths one week ago and 8,219 cases, 240 hospitalizations and 297 deaths as of the May 18 update, four weeks before the latest data.

So far, about 1.08% of Delawareans have tested positive for the virus. DPH said there have been 84,686 tests, although that figure is preliminary and does not include an unknown number of results that are pending.

Although some states have seen recent upticks in cases, new hospitalizations and percentage of tests coming back positive are trending downward here. The virus appears to have peaked in Delaware around the beginning of May, though health officials warn the outbreak is far from over, and social distancing and wearing face coverings remain mandatory.

Given the positive indicators, many businesses were allowed to raise capacity from 30 to 60% Monday, while the ceiling for indoor gatherings jumped from 10 to 50 attendees.

Thus far, Delaware’s most populous county actually has not seen the most cases, though its share has been rising for weeks and figures to assume the top spot at some point. That county, New Castle, has had 4,345 cases, while there have been 4,416 cases in Sussex County, which has less than half as many people and represents only about a quarter of the state’s population.

A total of 1,565 cases are associated with Kent County. Additionally, the addresses for 14 people who have caught the virus are currently unknown, DPH said.

Currently, about 43% of cases have involved people from Sussex, down from 49% at the high point earlier in the spring.

New Castle has seen the most deaths, with 190, compared to 150 in Sussex and 83 in New Castle. However, the fatality rate is highest in Kent, with 5.3% of residents who catch the virus dying. About 4.4% of New Castle residents and 3.4% of those in Sussex with COVID have passed away.

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% of deaths involved people younger than 50 even though 58% of Delawareans who have caught the virus fit that description.

Four out of five deaths have been of people 65 or older.

About 14% of Delaware deaths involved people with no prior known health issues.

The most recent death, DPH said, was a 64-year-old woman from New Castle who had underlying health conditions. She was a long-term care resident, a statement that describes almost two-thirds of fatalities here.

In total, there have been 5,711 cases and 225 deaths involving females and 4,613 cases and 198 deaths involving males. Sixteen cases have involved people of currently unknown sex.

About 55% of cases in the First State have involved girls or women.

By race, there have been 3,008 cases and 258 deaths involving non-Hispanic white Delawareans, 2,958 cases and 27 deaths involving Hispanic or Latino Delawareans, 2,751 cases and 112 deaths involving non-Hispanic black Delawareans, 157 cases and one death involving Asian or Pacific Islander Delawareans and 512 cases and four deaths involving people from another race or multiple races. In 954 instances and 21 deaths, race is unknown.

Adjusted for population size, white Delawareans are eight times less likely than Hispanic Delawareans and more than three times less likely than black Delawareans to have COVID-19. However, although white, black and Hispanic individuals each represent a little more than a quarter of the coronavirus cases here, white people make up 61% of fatalities, while black people are 26% and Hispanic people account for just 6%.

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.

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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