Delaware back on states’ quarantine lists

WILMINGTON — Delaware’s on-and-off relationship with the 14-day quarantine lists of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut continued on Tuesday as Delaware was added to the list for the fourth time this summer.

Delaware was most recently removed from the lists on Aug. 26. That stint lasted just one week.

The criteria to be placed on the state’s 14-day quarantine lists is the average daily COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents over the previous week or states with a 10% positive test rate or higher for the last week.

Delaware’s seven-day rolling average for percentage of positive tests is currently 4.5%, according to data provided by the Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH), as of Monday at 6 p.m. But its cases per 100,000 residents is just above the mark.

“We’re way below the 10% positive, but we’re right on the edge on the new positive cases on a seven-day moving average each week,” Delaware Gov. Jahn Carney said Tuesday at his weekly COVID-19 press briefing. “So one week, we’re at 85 and then this week we’re at 96, it’s stupid.”
All four times Delaware has been placed on the 14-day quarantine lists have been due to going over the benchmark for cases per 100,000 residents.

Gov. Carney has consistently questioned the criteria the three states use, saying it punishes smaller states like Delaware for doing a large amount of testing. Gov. Carney said he has suggested only states who fail both measurements be placed on the list.

“It should be both,” Gov. Carney said. “You have to fail both. We could fix it easy. We could just do fewer testing and not find those additional cases. But we’re not going to do that. It doesn’t make any sense and it’s not responsible for public health.”

“Why it’s relevant is because we have people who travel a lot in between states,” Gov. Carney added. “In particular, we have travelers who love to come to Delaware beaches. That’s where a lot of the pushback has come from on our side. ‘Why are you allowing this to happen? I had 20 reservations cancel because of this quarantine.’ Then guess what, the next week, they’re able to take those reservations. That just doesn’t make any sense.”

The DPH announced 56 new COVID-19 cases in Delaware on Tuesday which pushes the state’s total to 18,308.

Hospitalizations stayed the same as the previous day with 53 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Delaware. Twelve of those 53 are considered critical, according to the DPH.

The DPH said there were no new COVID-19 related deaths as the total remained at 609. It announced an additional 73 recoveries from the virus, bringing that total to 9,920 while 1,309 people tested negative to increase that total to 235,662.

With schools opening this week, Gov. Carney said he hopes Delaware’s numbers can improve to allow in-person learning. Once that happens, the governor said the state will then focus on Phase 3 of its reopening plan.

“When are we going to move into Phase 3? When we get better,” Gov. Carney said. “So that we can know that we’re good enough, healthy enough to bring our children back in the classrooms and the workers back to work, unlike other states that just didn’t pay any attention to whether they had improving conditions on the ground, and reopened, and then had a dramatic spike.”

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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