COVID hospitalizations continue to rise in Delaware

DOVER — The number of individuals with COVID-19 in Delaware hospitals is nearing its highest mark.

COVID-19 hospitalizations are up to 322 in Monday’s daily update by the Delaware Division of Public Health, which reflects data as of Sunday at 6 p.m. That is the most since April 27 when there were 337, which is the state’s record.

In Monday’s report, New Castle County broke its own record with 183 hospitalized. Kent County is second in the state with 72 and Sussex County is up to 67.

The DPH also reported an additional 800 new positive cases of the virus — tied for the second-highest number of new daily cases since the first positive was reported on March 11. So far, the state has recorded 40,711 total positive COVID-19 cases and 793 deaths after no new deaths were reported Monday.

As hospitalizations and cases continue to rise, the DPH has elected to stop reporting recovery data, due to accuracy issues. The previous number of recoveries via the DPH was 18,851 as of Saturday at 6 p.m., but it only included recoveries reported to the DPH for confirmation.

“This metric is no longer a true reflection of the number of persons that recovered from the disease,” the DPH said in a statement. “Cases considered recovered included only infected persons who reported to DPH that they had reached the end of their isolation period. It does not capture instances such as in long-term care and other congregate settings where patients are cleared by facility medical staff, not DPH. In addition, it does not include those who do not respond to, or complete, case investigation by contact tracers.”

Delaware’s seven-day rolling average of new COVID-19 cases per day has increased nine days in a row and is up to an all-time high of 721.0 cases per day. That number is way up from where it was 14 days ago when it was at 439.7 cases per day.

The seven-day rolling average for percentage of positive tests increased to 9.7%. That number is as of Friday at 6 p.m. due to a two-day lag to account for the time delay between the date of the test and the date the DPH receives the test result.

For the most recent day of available data, Friday, the percentage of positive tests was 8.7% with 707 positive tests of 8,089 tests processed.

Delaware Gov. John Carney recommended last week schools pause in-person learning on Dec. 14 and resume hybrid instruction on Jan. 11.

This week, the state’s official guidance for the reopening of schools entered the “red” phase, which recommends schools operate via remote learning. The guidance is done looking at three criteria — new case rate per 100,000 people, percent-positive rate and average daily hospitalizations per 100,000 people.

All three criteria went into red this week. Only two of the three need to be red for the statewide guidance to be no in-person learning. The new case rate per 100,000 people is up to 457.2 cases per day; the percentage of positive tests went up to 9.6% for last week; and average daily hospitalizations per 100,000 people increased to 27.1

For any of the categories to go back down to yellow (hybrid model of in-person and remote learning) the new case rate needs to be below 100, percentage of positive tests below 8.0% and average daily hospitalizations under 25.

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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