Delaware sees lowest 2-day total of cases in 2 weeks

DOVER — After announcing Tuesday 413 new COVID-19 cases — the second-largest bump since the virus hit Delaware, the state has recorded an additional 159 cases since, the lowest two-day total in almost two weeks.

More diagnoses could come rolling in soon, however: Much of the increase in recent weeks has stemmed from Sussex County, prompting the state to offer free ongoing community testing there.

Delaware reported 79 more COVID-19 cases, including eight new deaths, Thursday, bringing the totals to 4,734 laboratory-confirmed cases and 152 fatalities related to the virus, according to the Division of Public Health.

As of 6 p.m. Wednesday, 296 people were hospitalized in Delaware from coronavirus-related issues, with 65 critically ill. DPH said 1,275 individuals, or slightly more than a quarter of those diagnosed with the virus, have recovered, meaning they have gone without symptoms for at least a week.

While Gov. Carney had identified a 14-day decline in cases as one of the criteria for being able to reopen Delaware, he said last week that metric needed to be re-evaluated and pointed to a decline in the percentage of positive tests as a possible better indicator of the virus’ impact on the state.

When asked for the number of positives and the number of total tests with the percentages this week, a spokeswoman with DPH said the information could not be shared yet.

“In regard to metrics that will be evaluated, the White House has laid out several criteria for states to use when determining when and how to re-open,” said Jen Brestel, media relations and FOIA coordinator for the Office of Health and Risk Communication. “Delaware is considering several metrics for evaluation, but plans have not been finalized just yet. Once those plans are finalized, we will be very interested in sharing data related to those specific metrics with the public and media outlets.”

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

As of April 22, one week before the latest day for which there is data, the state had seen 3,308 cases and 92 deaths. There were 2,014 cases and 46 deaths one week prior to that.

Despite the fact it has only 24 percent of the state’s population, Sussex has been the home of nearly 47 percent of Delaware’s COVID-19 cases. As of Wednesday night, the southernmost county had 2,216 total cases, as well as 58 deaths resulting from COVID-19. Many of those positive cases are clustered around the greater Georgetown area.

Beebe Healthcare said it tested approximately 600 people Wednesday at an event held by it, the state and other entities. Similar events will take place over the next few days.

There have been 1,734 cases and 68 deaths involving New Castle County, with 759 cases and 26 deaths involving Kent County. In 25 cases, the patient’s home is unknown.

The most recent deaths involved seven women and one man ranging from ages 65 to 95. Three were New Castle residents, one was a Kent resident and four were Sussex residents.

Two did not have any underlying health conditions.

Statewide, Delawareans who have had confirmed cases range in age from less than a year old to 103, with deaths involving people from ages 32 to 103, according to DPH. The vast majority of people who died were elderly.

Ninety-six deaths have involved residents of long-term facilities, including seven of the eight announced Thursday.

In all, there have been 2,163 cases and 74 deaths involving males, 2,542 cases and 78 deaths involving females and 29 cases involving people of unknown gender.

The coronavirus’ spread in Delaware can also be broken down by ethnicity: 1,313 cases have involved (by the state’s definitions) non-Hispanic blacks, 1,216 have involved non-Hispanic whites, 1,008 have involved Hispanics/Latinos, 69 have involved Asians/Pacific Islanders and 251 have involved people from another race or multiple races. In 877 instances, race is unknown.

Of the people who died, 87 were white, 36 were black, five were Hispanic or Latino, one was Asian or Pacific Islander, three belonged to another race or multiple races and 20 were of an unknown race.

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

DPH has stopped offering information on specific deaths, saying Saturday it will no longer provide age, gender and location of victims.

There have been 21,820 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.

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.

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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