COVID outbreaks grow at long-term care centers

DOVER — Twenty-two long-term care centers have experienced significant outbreaks of COVID-19 since late September.

The Delaware Division of Public Health is investigating these outbreaks, which have more than doubled in recent weeks. The list of facilities the DPH was monitoring for outbreaks has grown from seven to 22 over the last two weeks.

The increase in long-term care center cases coincides with a post-Thanksgiving surge in positive cases and hospitalizations throughout the state. DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay said the increased community spread of the virus makes it easier for COVID-19 to get into long-term care centers from either staff or visitors.

“It goes to show you how easily it can spread in those facilities once it gets in,” Dr. Rattay said.

“As we’ve seen such an increase in community spread post-Thanksgiving, it’s not surprising that people who work in or go to, really right now it’s people who work in long-term care facilities, are bringing it into the facilities,” Dr. Rattay added. “What we’re seeing in the facilities really is a reflection of those much higher levels of community spread.”

There have been a total of 1,857 positive COVID-19 cases in long-term care facilities over the course of the pandemic, using data provided by the DPH as of Wednesday at 6 p.m. Long-term care residents have made up 480 of the state’s 891 COVID-19 related deaths — a mark of 53.9%.

Since Sept. 25, the DPH is actively monitoring the following facilities. Case totals are cumulative and may not represent the number of active cases at each facility at this particular point in time, according to the DPH:

• Cadia Healthcare Silverside in Wilmington — 51 residents and 44 staff members positive.

• Regency Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in Wilmington — 74 residents and 47 staff positive.

• Lofland Park in Seaford — 19 residents and 17 staff positive.

• Cadia Healthcare Capitol in Dover — 45 residents and 30 staff positive.

• Delmar Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Delmar — 38 residents and 36 staff positive.

• The Moorings at Lewes in Lewes — 17 residents and 37 staff positive.

• Oak Bridge Terrace at Cokesbury Village in Hockessin — 16 residents and 13 staff positive.

• Brookdale in Dover — 58 residents and 35 staff positive.

• Cadia Healthcare Broadmeadow in Middletown — 17 residents and 23 staff positive.

• Churchman Village in Newark — 48 residents and 28 staff positive.

• Foulk Manor South in Wilmington — 28 residents and 28 staff positive.

• Hillside Center in Wilmington — 21 residents and 16 staff positive.

• Kutz Senior Living in Wilmington — 16 residents and 15 staff positive.

• Regal Heights Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in Hockessin — 72 residents and 31 staff positive.

• Westminster Village in Dover — 42 residents and 21 staff positive.

• Brandywine Assisted Living at Seaside in Rehoboth Beach — 39 residents and 15 staff positive.

• Milford Center, Genesis Healthcare in Milford — 38 residents and 14 staff positive.

• Seaford Center Nursing Home in Seaford — 17 residents and 16 staff positive.

• Harrison House Senior Living in Georgetown — 12 residents and 12 staff positive.

• WillowBrooke Court Skilled Center at Manor House in Seaford — 41 residents and 31 staff positive.

• WillowBrooke Court at Cokesbury Village in Hockessin — 13 residents and 12 staff positive.

• Dover Place in Dover — 22 residents and 13 staff positive.

The DPH said facilities on the list represent those that have had a cumulative total of more than 10 cases among residents and more than 10 cases among staff since the beginning of the outbreak monitoring period (Sept. 25). Staff members may include health care and non-health care personnel, such as facility vendors or other individuals working in the long-term care facility who may not be full-time facility employees.

The increase in outbreaks comes as the state has begun to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer and Moderna over the last two weeks. Long-term care center staff and residents are included in one of the first groups who will be vaccinated, according to the DPH’s plan.

“I think this is a reason why we are so excited and eager to get vaccinations underway in the next few weeks among staff and vulnerable long-term care residents,” Dr. Rattay said. “It’s one of the most important parts of our mission.”

For more information on the COVID-19 vaccine, the DPH has set up a Vaccine Call Center, which can now be reached at 1-833-643-1715. Individuals can email their questions concerning the vaccine to Vaccine@Delaware.gov and visit de.gov/covidvaccine for more information.


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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