Delaware officials concerned about virus spread in Western Sussex

WILMINGTON — The Delaware Division of Public Health is continuing to monitor higher levels of community spread in Western Sussex County.

DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay said at the state’s weekly COVID-19 press briefing on Tuesday Bridgeville, Seaford and Laurel are at the top of the list in terms of percent-positive rates of the virus. Dr. Rattay added Delmar is showing signs of improvement in its rates but they are still higher compared to the rest of the state.

“We appreciate people from Western Sussex coming out and getting tested,” Dr. Rattay said. “We really want to encourage people to take advantage of the testing that’s available.”

Dr. Rattay said Fenwick Island and Bethany Beach now have higher case rates despite the fact the number of new cases in the area are not as high.

New Castle County’s case rates are on the decline, according to the DPH, although the state is monitoring increases in the Newport and Stanton area.

The state saw a decrease of 15 compared to the day prior in the state’s COVID-19 hospitalizations, which are now at 93. It is only the second time since Oct. 6 the state’s COVID-19 hospitalizations have been below 100.

New Castle County’s hospitalizations fell by 11 to 40.

“It doesn’t mean we’re out of the woods yet,” Dr. Rattay cautioned.

Sussex County has the most hospitalizations in the state with 45, still a decrease of five compared to the day prior. Kent County’s hospitalizations rose by one to eight.

There was one new COVID-19-related death reported by the DPH on Tuesday, bringing the state’s total to 686. The most recent death was a 69-year-old New Caslte County resident who had an underlying health condition and was a resident of a long-term care center, according to the DPH.

The DPH reported 85 new positive cases of COVID-19, pushing the state’s total to 24,249.

Delaware’s seven-day rolling average for percentage of positive tests rose two-tenths of a percentage point to 3.4%. The seven-day rolling average for percentage of persons testing positive, where each person is only counted once regardless of how many times they’ve been tested, also increased by two-tenths to 7.3%

“We’re a little bit higher than where we want to be,” Gov. John Carney said. “But we’re certainly not as bad as other states across the country who are really experiencing significant increases unfortunately.”

Sussex County has the highest positivity rates in its seven-day rolling averages with 5.3% for percentage of positive tests and 10.2% for percentage of persons testing positive.

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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