Delaware put back on states’ quarantine lists

DOVER — Despite continuing on a path of improving numbers for the last month, Delaware was once again added to the 14-day quarantine list for New Jersey, New York and Connecticut.

It is the third time Delaware has been put on the list. The criteria for the list is 10 average daily COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents over the previous week (97 cases or lower) or states with a 10% positive test rate for the last week.

The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) announced 55 new positive COVID-19 cases on Tuesday. The percentage of positive tests for the day was 4.6%, which is also the same as the seven-day rolling average — an increase of 0.9% compared to a week prior.

Still those numbers via the DPH should be below the criteria the three states use, as the average new cases is 73.3 as of Monday at 6 p.m. according to the DPH.

But Delaware added nearly 300 additional cases this weekend after a delay in processing positive cases from the Department of Corrections. They were applied to previous days but were likely counted for this week by other states, putting Delaware on the 14-day quarantine list with 34 other states and territories.

“While the seven-day average of daily new cases has consistently remained below 97 cases for the last several days, and the seven-day rolling average for the percentage of persons who have tested positive has consistently remained below 5%, Delaware was once again added to these quarantine lists due to an artificial increase of our total positive case total,” the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services posted on its Facebook page. “This temporary increase in the cumulative number of positive cases, which occurred late last week, was a direct result of processing older (historical) cases.”

“As an example, while the total cumulative number of positive cases increased by 373 between Aug. 13 and Aug. 14, not all of these cases represented new infections. Of the cumulative increase that appeared on Aug. 14, 291 of those positive cases largely represented test results from April through late July that were only able to be processed recently into the Division of Public Health’s surveillance system. Additionally, 88 older positive cases were added the day before, accounting for a larger-than-normal cumulative increase reported Aug. 13.”

The three states have been using the quarantine list since late in June as COVID-19 cases spiked in other states around the country. New York for example was one of the hardest hit states early on but now consistently has a percentage of positive tests rate of 1% or lower.

Gov. John Carney has spoken out in the past on how the criteria for the quarantine list punishes Delaware for its small size and increased testing. Gov. Carney’s weekly COVID-19 press briefing was moved from Tuesday to today at 1:45 p.m.

Delaware has seen a total of 16,593 positive COVID-19 cases since March 11 — 7,617 cases in New Castle County, 6,209 in Sussex County. 2,503 cases in Kent County and 264 cases where the county is not yet known.

Current COVID-19 hospitalizations increased by three to 32 but the amount of critical hospitalizations stayed the same at seven. Hospitalizations had just set a new record low one day ago at 29.

There were no new COVID-19-related deaths for the sixth day in a row as the death toll remained at 593.

The DPH said there were an additional 36 recoveries from the virus, bringing that total to 8,749. There were also 1,150 people who tested negative as that total to increased to 197,252.

All numbers via the DPH are as of Monday at 6 p.m.


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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