Delaware announces 10 new COVID-19 deaths, most for one day so far

DOVER — Delaware announced 10 new coronavirus deaths on Tuesday, marking the highest number of COVID-19 casualties in a single day. In all, 82 Delawareans have died from the virus, the Division of Public Health said.

The latest laboratory-confirmed case total now stands at 2,931, an increase of 186 from the day prior. According to DPH, 263 people are hospitalized, with 71 critically ill. In all, 565 people have recovered.

Gov. John Carney said in a press briefing Tuesday the number of people hospitalized is a key indicator he uses to make decisions.

“We feel pretty good about our capacity,” he said.

According to the governor, hospitalization has leveled off upstate, but there’s been an uptick in Sussex County, with 41 more people requiring inpatient treatment last week.

Asked about hospital capacity Monday, a DPH spokeswoman said the agency does not share that information publicly but “all hospitals have indicated that they have adequate capacity.”

The new coronavirus totals are as of 6 p.m. Monday. DPH this week starting releasing data for the prior day around noon rather than sending out the information for the day every evening.

The agency said the change will enable the state to provide additional information, including race of COVID-19 patients and age-adjusted incidence rates by ZIP code, and will lighten the burden on its staff and the media. That new data will be available over the next week, according to the agency.

Delaware announced its first laboratory-confirmed case March 11.

The latest deaths involve the youngest and oldest individuals to pass away from the virus here.

The New Castle County residents among the deceased are a 73-year-old man, two 79-year-old men and an 84-year-old woman, while the only person from Kent County whose death was announced Tuesday is a 51-year-old woman.

The remaining five, all women, resided in Sussex County: a 32-year-old, a 71-year-old, a 78-year-old, a 92-year-old and a 103-year-old.

The 73-year-old and one of the 79-year-old men from New Castle, as well as the 71-, 78-, 92- and 103-year-olds from Sussex, were in long-term care facilities.

There have been 218 positive COVID-19 cases involving residents of long-term care centers in the state, with 48 deaths. That total includes 18 deaths at Genesis Healthcare’s Milford Center, 11 at Little Sisters of the Poor, five at Brandywine Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, two at Parkview Nursing and Rehabilitation, two at Atlantic Shores Rehabilitation and Health Center, two at New Castle Health and Rehabilitation Center, two at Delaware Hospital for the Chronically Ill and one at Governor Bacon Health Center.

Additionally, DPH said three facilities in New Castle and two in Sussex have had one death each, although it is only naming centers with multiple deaths. Governor Bacon appears to be an exception because it is run by the state.

Of the 2,931 COVID-19 cases, a total that includes current and former ones, there are 1,303 involving New Castle Countians, 1,139 involving Sussex Countians, 459 involving Kent Countians and 30 involving people whose residence is unknown.

Perhaps due in part to people flocking to their beach homes to wait out the proverbial storm, Sussex County has carried a heavy burden so far: It has about 24 percent of the state’s population but 39 percent of the cases.

Similarly, 35 of the deaths have involved residents of Sussex, almost equal to the 37 from New Castle, even though the state’s northernmost county has more than twice as many people.

Four of the deceased individuals were younger than 50, including two in their 30s. Forty of the deaths involved people at least 80 years of age, and 67 of those who died from the virus were older than 65.

As of April 13, there were 1,761 cases and 41 deaths. There were 783 cases and 15 deaths one week prior to that, with 264 and seven just one week before that (March 30).

In all, 1,322 cases have involved males, 1,600 have involved females and nine have involved a person of unknown gender. Forty-eight of the people who died, or about 59 percent, were women.

There have been 12,935 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.

Based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, DPH is now counting deaths of not just individuals with laboratory-confirmed coronavirus cases but also Delawareans who had symptoms consistent with COVID-19 and were exposed to a confirmed case but never tested.

Because of volume, the hospitalization and critically ill numbers now include non-Delawareans, although all other totals are just Delaware residents, according to DPH.

As usual, the division did not release additional details about the cases, citing health privacy laws.

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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