Coronavirus total passes 2,000 in Delaware

DOVER — Delaware’s coronavirus count officially surpassed 2,000 Wednesday, with the state announcing 88 new cases. There were also three additional deaths, bringing that total to 46.

The Division of Public Health said there have now been 2,014 laboratory-confirmed cases in Delaware, with the first coming March 11.

Per the agency, 208 people are currently hospitalized in Delaware, with 48 critically ill. In all, 354 Delawareans are considered to have recovered, meaning they have gone without symptoms for at least a week.

The most recent deaths involve a 46-year-old man from New Castle County, a 53-year-old woman from Kent County and an 83-year-old woman from Sussex County who was in a long-term care facility. All three had underlying conditions.

In total, 28 nursing home residents have died from COVID-19, DPH said. Those include 11 at Little Sisters of the Poor in Newark, seven at Genesis Healthcare’s Milford Center and five at Atlantic Shores Rehabilitation and Health Center in Millsboro. Additionally, DPH said four facilities in New Castle and one in Sussex have had one death each, although it is only naming centers with multiple deaths.

Ninety-three long-term care residents have tested positive for COVID-19, according to the agency.

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

One week ago, there had been 1,116 occurrences and 19 deaths, with 368 cases and 11 deaths one week prior to that.

Of the 2,014 COVID-19 cases, both current and inactive, there are 974 involving New Castle Countians, 678 involving Sussex Countians, 345 involving Kent Countians and 17 involving people whose residence is unknown.

Those who have had confirmed cases range in age from 1 to 97, with deaths involving people from ages 33 to 96. Although the vast majority of deaths have involved the elderly — slightly more than half of those who have died were at least 80 — the past four days have seen the virus claim individuals aged 33, 46, 53 and 54. Those are the four youngest Delawareans to pass away from it so far.

As of Wednesday, there had been 11,088 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. DPH did not release many additional details involving the cases, citing health privacy laws.

The agency said because of volume, the hospitalization and critically ill numbers now include non-Delawareans, although all other totals are just Delaware residents.

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

Delaware has been in a state of emergency since March 12, and the governor issued a stay-at-home order and closed non-essential businesses starting March 22.

While the elderly and those with serious health conditions, especially heart disease, lung issues, diabetes, severe obesity or a compromised immune system are most at risk, 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.

Most people recover from COVID-19 with rest and hydration, although illness can be severe.

Statewide testing at standing health facility sites is under way for patients with a doctor’s recommendation. Those without a primary care provider can call 1-866-408-1899.

In New Castle, individuals can call ChristianaCare at 1-302-733-1000, and Sussex residents who do not have a provider can reach Beebe at 645-3200. Bayhealth patients will be pre-screened via phone without needing to see a provider first.

People awaiting test results should wait to hear from their medical provider.

DPH has launched a partnership with the United Way of Delaware to triage incoming calls related to COVID-19. Anyone with a question should dial Delaware 2-1-1 (7-1-1 for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing) or text their ZIP code to 898-211. The service can connect Delawareans with assistance including employment, mental health, food and housing.

Official ask any health care, long-term care, residential or other high-risk facility with questions to email DPH_PAC@delaware.gov or call the DPH Call Center at 1-866-408-1899 and press ext. 2. Health-related questions can also be submitted by email at DPHCall@delaware.gov. 

For the latest on Delaware’s response, go to de.gov/coronavirus.


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

Have a question, tip, or resources about the coronavirus pandemic? Submit it to our newsroom and we’ll do what we can to provide answers.