Delaware COVID hospitalizations hit another record high

DOVER — The number of individuals hospitalized with COVID-19 increased by 21 compared to the day prior, rising to a record 454 in Wednesday’s report by the Delaware Division of Public Health.

It is the eighth time in the last 10 days COVID-19 hospitalizations have set an all-time high. The figure is now 100 more than the peak of the original spike in hospitalizations in the spring when it was at 337.

The latest surge comes a day after Gov. John Carney said the state’s hospital capacity fluctuates between 400 and 500 depending on the day. Gov. Carney and DPH officials also pleaded with the public to avoid large gatherings for the holiday to prevent more community spread of the virus and keep the hospitals under capacity.

“We don’t want people who need hospital care and can’t get it,” Gov. Carney said. “No. Our hospitals are doing everything they possibly can to make sure that there’s space when somebody is tested and is COVID-19-positive. This is why we can’t see another peak on top of that.”

State officials have attributed the recent surge of hospitalizations to the Thanksgiving holiday.

DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay said, contact tracers and DPH officials identified a number of Thanksgiving dinners and gatherings causing spread of the virus, which Dr. Rattay termed “a super-spreader event for our state.”

Some case investigations showed multiple positives originating from the same address and other cases where more than 50% of attendees at a Thanksgiving gathering became infected with COVID-19.

“We have some important lessons to learn from the data surrounding Thanksgiving,” Dr. Rattay said. “We saw a significant surge after Thanksgiving and, as the governor said, the hospitalizations we’re dealing with now really are, in large part, a reflection of that surge.”

Hospitalization numbers have increased by 269 over the last 30 days as there were 185 hospitalized with the virus on Nov. 23. For the most recent data, which is as of Tuesday at 6 p.m., 64 of the 454 current hospitalizations are considered critical according to the DPH.

New Castle County (269) and Kent County (96) are each at record highs for COVID-19 hospitalizations. Sussex County is at 89 hospitalizations due to the virus — its highest total since June 2. Sussex County is approaching its record of 98.

To date, Delaware has recorded 52,235 positive cases of COVID-19 after 594 cases were added in Wednesday’s report, reflecting data as of Tuesday at 6 p.m.

The number of new positive cases reported in the most recent days may appear lower than the preceding days, according to the DPH, due to reporting delays in some labs. The DPH said “this may not be reflective of the true level of infection and may cause the number of new positive cases to be larger than normal in the days ahead as this issue is resolved.”

The DPH reported no new deaths Wednesday, as the COVID-19-related death toll remained at 872.


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.