Delaware positive cases of COVID-19 rises to 165

DOVER — Delaware’s confirmed cases of COVID-19 rose to 165 by Friday evening with 106 positive cases in New Castle County; 21 in Kent and 38 in Sussex. Fifteen people are hospitalized.

Delaware officials announced Thursday that two people have died from the virus: a 66-year-old man from the Dagsboro area in Sussex County, who died in a hospital out of state, and an 86-year-old man living at the Little Sisters of the Poor Jeanne Jugan Residence in Newark.

The Jeanne Jugan Residence is also the site of the first outbreak in a long-term care facility in the state: Six residents have tested positive for COVID-19.

The source of exposure for both cases is not confirmed and still being investigated by DPH. Both of the deceased had underlying conditions.

In Delaware, the affected individuals range in age from 1 to 90.

DPH said the state is working with nursing homes to ensure they are implementing necessary safeguards like limiting visitors, canceling group activity and screening staff.

Delaware has been in a state of emergency since March 12, and Gov. John Carney has since closed schools and non-essential businesses and instructed Delawareans to avoid contact with others.

The state has faced issues with people not taking social distancing guidelines seriously enough, prompting the closure of the beaches and other public spaces. Community spread of the virus is occurring in Delaware, including through people who felt ill, were tested and did not quarantine themselves, Dr. Karyl Rattay said.

“If you are ill, ill enough to be tested, then you need to be in isolation, which is at least seven days from the time your symptoms began,” she said. “You should not be leaving your home.”

If necessary, DPH can enforce a quarantine through court order. Anyone who knows of an individual who has tested positive for the virus but is not isolating should contact the agency at 1-888-408-1899.

The most common symptoms include shortness of breath, fever or coughing, but more patients have been displaying a sore throat, body aches, nausea or diarrhea, according to health officials. The elderly and people with underlying conditions are most at risk.

Anyone who suspects he or she is sick should stay home and contact a primary care provider instead of first heading to the emergency room or an urgent care center. A person experiencing a medical emergency such as significant trouble breathing should call 911.

Statewide testing at standing health facility sites began Monday for patients with a doctor’s recommendation. Those without a primary care provider can contact DPH at 1-888-408-1899, but individuals should not just walk in to one of the testing sites.

People awaiting test results should expect to hear back from their medical provider.

DPH acknowledged Thursday many individuals have wondered why additional information about the cases isn’t being released, holding a conference call with members of the media to answer some commonly asked questions.

The federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act prevents the agency from sharing virtually any identifying details about specific cases, while technical and real-world limitations make it difficult to track the number of people who have been tested, Dr. Rattay said.

Delawareans with general questions about COVID-19 or their exposure risk can call DPH at 1-866-408-1899 (711 for individuals who are hearing impaired) from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday or email

For more information, visit

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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