Delaware reports highest number of new daily positive COVID cases with 649

WILMINGTON — Delaware broke its mark for new daily positive COVID-19 cases Friday, as the Delaware Division of Public Health reported 649 new positives, which reflects data as of Thursday at 6 p.m.

That number shattered the previous high of 488, which was reported for May 10.

Both New Castle and Kent counties recorded their highest mark for new daily positive cases of the virus, as well. New Castle County posted 403 positive cases in Friday’s report, while Kent County recorded 98 cases.
Sussex County posted its highest number since May 15, with 246 new positive cases.

The seven-day rolling average of new daily positive cases increased to 398.9 new daily cases. That number stood at 188.3 new cases per day two weeks ago.

There were 3,598 negative tests included in Friday’s report. The percentage of positive tests corresponding to the new data will be available Sunday due to a two-day lag in reporting that data to account for the time delay between the date of the test and the date that DPH receives the test result.

With 649 positives and 3,598 negatives published Friday, that adds up to 4,247 new tests processed in this most recent report. A.J. Schall, director of the Delaware Emergency Management Agency, said at a COVID-19 press briefing last week that the record for most tests done in a single day was about 5,200, set Nov. 9.

The seven-day rolling average for percentage of positive tests is at 5.9%, reflecting data as of Tuesday at 6 p.m. That number was adjusted after the DPH discovered Monday’s number of 12.5% was largely due to a technical reporting issue. The DPH said the issue has been resolved, and the percentage has been revised downward to 6.5% for that specific date.

The steep increase in cases comes as Delaware is adding new restrictions to combat the spread of the virus, which will go into effect on Monday at 6 p.m.

Restrictions particularly affect restaurants, which can operate at no more than 30% of fire capacity indoors, with allowances for additional outdoor seating, starting Monday. Additionally, parties sitting at the bar must not exceed two people.

Other restrictions include:
• Indoor gatherings in homes must be capped at no more than 10 people.
• Indoor gatherings at businesses or indoor spaces open to the public must be limited to the lesser of 30% of the venue’s stated fire capacity or 50 people.
• Services in houses of worship are limited to 30% of capacity, up to 100 people. Additional capacity may be permitted with a plan approved by the DPH by emailing hspcontact@delaware.gov.
• Outdoor public gatherings are limited to 50 people. Additional capacity, up to a cap of 250 people, may be permitted with a plan approved by DPH.
• Delawareans must always wear face coverings in gyms.
• The order also prohibits Delaware youth sports organizations, teams and venues from hosting or participating in tournaments with out-of-state teams, effective at 8 a.m. Dec. 1. The order includes a provision prohibiting Delaware teams from traveling across states lines for tournaments.

“These are difficult decisions, but we face a difficult and challenging winter,” said Gov. John Carney in a statement. “COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are rising in Delaware and across the country. More than 250,000 Americans have already lost their lives to this virus. We’re focused on protecting lives and targeting restrictions where we’re seeing spread of COVID-19. Let’s all do our part. Wear a mask. Avoid gatherings with anyone outside your household. Consider celebrating holidays a little differently this year. Stay vigilant and we’ll get through this.”

Four new COVID-19-related deaths were reported Friday, to bring Delaware’s total to 746. The four most recent deaths range in age from 62 to 80.

Two of the four most recent deaths were Sussex County residents. Another was from Kent County, while the fourth was from New Castle County.

All four individuals had underlying health conditions, and three were residents of long-term care facilities, according to the DPH. Long-term care residents have made up 426 of Delaware’s 746 COVID-19-related deaths.

There have been a total of 1,591 positive COVID-19 cases cumulatively involving long-term care residents as of Thursday at 6 p.m. The DPH is monitoring the following outbreaks in long-term care centers:
• Kentmere Rehabilitation and Health Care Center in Wilmington — 54 residents and 44 staff positive.
• Cadia Healthcare Silverside in Wilmington — 48 residents and 36 staff positive.
• Country Rest Home in Greenwood — 31 residents and 20 staff positive.
• Regency Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in Wilmington — 74 residents and 38 staff positive.
• Lofland Park in Seaford — 19 residents and 11 staff positive.
• Cadia Healthcare Capitol in Dover — 44 residents and 22 staff positive.
• Delmar Nursing and Rehabilitation Center — 34 residents and 29 staff positive.
• The Moorings at Lewes — 14 residents and 17 staff positive.
• Oak Bridge Terrace at Cokesbury Village in Hockessin — 14 residents and 11 staff positive.

The number of individuals hospitalized with COVID-19 grew again to 170. That’s the most COVID-19 hospitalizations since May 29.

New Castle County leads in hospitalizations with 100, followed by Sussex County’s 43 and Kent County’s 27.


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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