DPH announces first coronavirus-related death of Delaware resident

The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) is confirming the first coronavirus disease (COVID-19) related fatality in the state of Delaware. 

The deceased is an 66-year-old male from Sussex County who passed away while hospitalized out of state. DPH officials say the individual had underlying health conditions and was critically ill. The source of his exposure is not confirmed. To protect personal health information, DPH will not disclose additional information about the individual who passed away.  

There have been 130 total laboratory-confirmed cases in the state since March 11. This includes 11 additional cases since Wednesday. Of the Delawareans diagnosed with COVID-19, 86 are from New Castle County, 17 are from Kent County, and 27 are from Sussex County. The total number of positive cases represents a cumulative total of cases, including individuals who are currently ill and those who are considered “recovered.” 

Of the 130 cases, 63 are male and 67 are female. The individuals range in age from 1 to 90.  Thirteen individuals are currently hospitalized within Delaware; seven are critically ill. An additional two Delaware residents are hospitalized out of state. The source of exposure for many of these positive cases is unknown, which indicates community spread of the virus is occurring in the state. 

“Our hearts go out to the family and friends of the gentleman who died, as well as to all who have been diagnosed with coronavirus disease,” said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay in a press release.

“This is a tragic reminder that that this disease can be fatal. We need to make sure that we are protecting vulnerable persons from this disease, particularly older individuals and those with chronic health conditions. This reinforces why it’s so important for everyone to stay home – especially those who are ill with any symptoms including fever, cough, body aches, sore throat, shortness of breath and even stomach aches, nausea and diarrhea.” 

DPH cannot confirm specific information even if other entities choose to make their own announcements.  

Nationally, the death toll crossed the 1,000-person mark Thursday afternoon.


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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