State passes 6,000 COVID-19 cases; almost two-thirds of 213 deaths involve nursing homes

DOVER — Delaware has officially seen more than 6,000 COVID-19 cases. The Division of Public Health announced an additional 172 cases and 11 deaths on Friday, bringing the respective totals to 6,111 and 213.

Of the deceased, 137 — just over 64 percent — were residents of long-term care facilities. That includes 30 at Genesis Healthcare’s Milford Center.

In a statement, Genesis’ chief medical officer said the company has put in place recommendations from the federal government “and in many cases, has gotten out in front of public health guidelines, adopting even more stringent infection precautions than were recommended at the time.”

Those steps include screening residents and patients for symptoms multiple times a day, restricting visitation, canceling outside medical appointments and notifying family members of positive tests.

“I can assure you that we are working around the clock to keep our patients and residents healthy and as safe as possible. We are doing everything in our power – and everything medical experts know as of at this time – to protect our patients, residents and employees,” Dr. Richard Feifer said.

DPH said 289 people were hospitalized, with 59 critically ill, as of 6 p.m. Thursday. In all, 2,288 Delawareans have recovered, meaning they’ve gone a week without symptoms.

Sussex County continues to bear the brunt of the burden: Though just 24 percent of the state’s population lives there, 48 percent of COVID-19 cases have originated in the southernmost county, which has now seen 2,936 cases and 86 deaths.

There have been 2,184 cases and 91 fatalities involving residents of New Castle County, with 963 and 36 involving Kent Countians. In 28 instances, the person’s home is unclear.

The outbreak has been particularly severe in the greater Georgetown area, as about 4.4 percent of people in the 19947 ZIP code have tested positive.

Delaware’s first official coronavirus case came on March 11, with the first death announced March 26.

There were 4,967 cases and 159 deaths one week ago, up from 3,516 and 100 seven days before that.

Thirty-nine of the 213 individuals who died had no underlying health conditions, including one of the 11 announced Friday.

The newest deaths include seven men and four women ranging in age from 55 to 99. Seven lived in Sussex, two were from New Castle and two hailed from Kent.

Seven were in long-term care centers.

In total, there have been 450 cases involving residents of nursing homes or similar facilities. Twenty-six sites have seen deaths related to COVID-19, per DPH.

In addition to the 30 deaths at Milford Center, three other places have seen double-digit fatalities: Brandywine Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Wilmington (16), Harrison House Senior Living in Georgetown (14) and Little Sisters of the Poor in Newark (11).

There have also been seven deaths at both Atlantic Shores Rehabilitation and Health Center in Millsboro and New Castle Health and Rehabilitation Center in New Castle, while Cadia Broadmeadow in Middletown and the Delaware Hospital for the Chronically Ill in Smyrna have seen six apiece.
Genesis Healthcare’s Brackenville Center in Hockessin has five, as does Smyrna’s Pinnacle Rehabilitation and Health Center. There have been four deaths at two Wilmington sites: ManorCare Health Services and Parkview Nursing and Rehabilitation.

Three residents of Harbor Healthcare and Rehabilitation in Lewes have died, with the same number at Hillside Center in Wilmington and Methodist Country House in Wilmington. Delaware Psychiatric Center in New Castle has seen two people pass away, as has Dover’s Westminster Village.

In addition to Governor Bacon Health Center in Delaware City, seven other New Castle facilities and one Sussex center have seen one death each, although DPH is only naming places with multiple fatalities. Governor Bacon is an exception since it is run by the state.

Statewide, Delawareans who have had confirmed cases range in age from less than a year old to 103, with deaths involving people from 26 to 103, according to DPH. Four out of every five COVID-19 deaths here have come in people 65 or older.

Twelve people who died were younger than 50.

There have been 3,319 cases and 112 deaths involving females and 2,773 cases and 101 deaths involving males. Nineteen cases involve people of currently unknown sex.

Data is also available for race: 1,714 cases involving non-Hispanic blacks, 1,618 cases involving non-Hispanic whites, 1,560 cases involving Hispanics or Latinos, 94 cases involving Asians or Pacific Islanders and 361 cases involving people from another race or multiple races. In 764 instances, race is unknown.

By death, it’s 124 whites, 56 blacks, 12 Hispanics or Latinos, one Asian or Pacific Islander, three from another race or multiple races and 17 belonging to an unknown race.

Adjusted for population size, whites in Delaware are more than seven times less likely than Hispanics and three times less likely than blacks to have COVID-19.

There have been 28,264 total tests, 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.

The division has stopped offering information on specific deaths and is providing updated statistics on nursing home cases only on Fridays.

Based on guidance from the CDC, Delaware is counting deaths of individuals with laboratory-confirmed cases and people who had symptoms consistent with COVID-19 and exposed 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 agency did not release additional details about the cases Friday, 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

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.