Delaware’s COVID-19 total continues to inch upward, especially in Sussex

DOVER — Delaware’s COVID-19 total continues to inch upward. The state now stands at 7,869 cases and 297 deaths, increases of 199 and seven, in the latest update.

As of 6 p.m. Sunday, 240 people were hospitalized with 39 critically ill, according to the Division of Public Health. The agency said 3,545 Delawareans are considered recovered, meaning they’ve gone a week without symptoms.

Delaware’s first official coronavirus case was announced March 11. There were 7,084 cases and 225 deaths one week ago.

As of April 18, four weeks before the latest data, there were 2,818 cases and 71 deaths.

About 0.82 percent of Delawareans, or 82 people for every 10,000 residents, have tested positive for the virus (though only a fraction of Delawareans have been tested).

Sussex County continues to bear the brunt of the caseload: Although it has just 24 percent of the state’s population, it’s seen 49 percent of its COVID-19 cases. The southernmost county has 3,861 total cases and 114 deaths, compared to 2,738 and 130 in the more populous New Castle. There have been 1,219 cases and 52 deaths involving Kent County.

Additionally, the addresses for 51 people with the virus, including one who died, have not yet been identified.

The outbreak has been particularly severe in the greater Georgetown area. About 13.6 percent of people in the 19947 ZIP code have been tested, and 5.4 percent of residents there have had confirmed coronavirus cases.

The most recent deaths involved four men and three women ranging in age from 60 to 89. Six lived in New Castle County and one lived in Sussex County. Three were residents of long-term care facilities, a classification that covers almost two-thirds of the deceased Delawareans.

Fifty-eight of the 297 people who died had no underlying health conditions, including one of the most recently announced deaths.

Statewide, Delawareans who have had confirmed cases range in age from less than a year old to 103, with deaths involving people from 21 to 103, according to DPH.

Eighty percent of deaths occurred in individuals 65 or older even though they represent just 19 percent of cases. Three percent of fatalities involved people younger than 35.

There have been 4,313 cases and 155 deaths involving females and 3,532 cases and 142 deaths involving males. Twenty-four cases involved people of currently unknown sex.

By race, there have been 2,218 cases and 182 deaths involving non-Hispanic whites, 2,177 cases and 21 deaths involving Hispanics or Latinos, 2,117 cases and 70 deaths involving non-Hispanic blacks, 116 cases and one death involving Asians or Pacific Islanders and 411 cases and three deaths involving people from another race or multiple races. In 830 instances and 20 deaths, race is unknown.

Adjusted for population size, whites in Delaware are three times less likely than blacks and more than seven times less likely than Hispanics to have COVID-19. However, although whites, blacks and Hispanics each represent a little more than a quarter of the coronavirus cases here, whites make up 61 percent of deaths, while Hispanics account for just 7 percent.

According to DPH, there have been 42,458 tests so far, although that figure is preliminary and does not include an unknown number of results that are pending.

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

Based on guidance from the federal government, 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 Monday, 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

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