Bridgeville, Laurel highlight COVID hot spots

WILMINGTON — Bridgeville and Laurel posted the highest percentage of positive COVID-19 tests last week and highlight the Delaware Division of Public Health’s list of areas with elevated rates.

Both western Sussex had 11.7% of COVID-19 tests be positive for the week of Nov. 14 to Nov. 20, according to numbers provided by the state’s public health agency. Laurel performed 4,155.1 tests per 100,000 people in that time period while Bridgeville was lower at 2021.6.

Other downstate areas where the DPH is monitoring elevated levels of community spread include Delmar, Ellendale, Hartly, Milford and Lincoln.

But while DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay said those municipalities are higher than others, the entire state is experiencing a rise in cases as the weather gets colder.

“There’s no area in our state right now that we can say we’re not concerned,” Dr. Rattay said at a COVID-19 press briefing Tuesday. “Unfortunately we have every reason to believe those numbers will go up,”

Delmar is one of three ZIP codes in Delaware who were above 10% positivity last week, along with Bridgeville and Laurel. Delmar posted a mark of 10.5% for its percentage of positive tests last week and had a mark of 4135.1 tests performed per 100,000 people.

Ellendale is next with 9.5% of its tests being positive for last week (2874.2 tests per 100,000 people). Hartly was also above 9% with a mark of 9.5% on 2,874.2 tests per 100,000 people.

Milford and Ellendale are lower than the rest of the downstate hot spots but both ZIP codes were still elevated last week at 6.9% positivity in Milford (4,344.9 tests per 100,000 people) and 5.8% in Lincoln (3,150.2 tests per 100,000 people).

While specific ZIP codes downstate are seeing the highest rates of positivity, New Castle County has had a 40% increase in cases. New Castle County posted the highest case rate per 100,000 last week (Nov. 14-20) with 345.1 cases per 100,00 people compared to Sussex County’s 282.2 cases and Kent County’s 200.8 new cases.

Sussex County led all counties in percentage of tests which were positive over the same time period with 6.2%. Kent County was next at 5.8% while New Castle County follows with 5.4%.

Dr. Rattay urged Delawareans to follow all precautions put in place to help combat the spread of COVID-19, reminding citizens it is more dangerous than the flu despite misinformation which has been circulating. Dr. Rattay began her COVID-19 briefing this week by saying she was thinking of the 52 Delawareans who died of COVID-19 in the past month.

“Several times in the past week I’ve heard people continue to compare this pandemic to the flu and the mortality rate to the flu,” Dr. Rattay said.

“Well the worst flu season that we’ve had in recorded history we had 36 deaths in the entire season. We just had 52 (COVID deaths) in the last month. We know that’s a lagging indicator and we’ve seen our cases increase dramatically in the last two weeks.”

Editor’s note: The Thanksgiving Day edition of the Delaware State News was printed early. For the latest coronavirus numbers, please visit delawarestatenews.net for updates.

Staff writer Tim Mastro can be reached at tmastro@newszap.com.

Follow @TimMastroDSN on Twitter.


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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