Fifty new COVIC-19 cases, including three deaths, announced

DOVER — Delaware has now seen 10 coronavirus deaths and 319 laboratory-confirmed cases.

The Division of Public Health announced 55 more cases, including three additional deaths, on Tuesday. The individuals who most recently died are an 87-year-old woman, an 89-year-old man and a 94-year-old woman. All three had underlying health conditions and were from New Castle County.

Five of the deaths involve long-term care facilities, including three at the Little Sisters of the Poor Jeanne Jugan Residence in Newark. The home was the site of the first known coronavirus outbreak at a long-term facility in the state.

The 319 cases involve people ranging in age from 1 to 95. Currently, 57 Delawareans are hospitalized, with 14 critically ill. Twenty-two people have recovered, meaning they have gone without symptoms for at least a week.

Of the 319 cases, 197 involve people from New Castle County, with 88 cases in Sussex County and 34 in Kent County. The case figure includes people who have recovered and people who have died.

Eighty-seven of the 319 affected individuals are at least 65 years old, an age considered to be high risk for the virus.

Delaware announced its first case March 11 and first death Thursday. There were 87 instances one week earlier.

Tuesday’s 55-person increase is the largest so far.

DPH has started releasing the number of negative tests, although the agency cautions the figure is preliminary and should not be used as a substitute for the number of people who have been tested. As of Tuesday, there had been 3,696 negative results.

DPH said it cannot release or confirm further information about the patients.

Delaware has been in a state of emergency since March 12. Last week, Gov. John Carney closed non-essential businesses and instructed residents to stay home except for necessary activities like visiting a doctor, exercising or buying groceries.

Anyone who believes he or she may be sick should not go out except for medical appointments. Contact your primary care provider before heading to the emergency room or an urgent care center. A person experiencing a medical emergency such as significant trouble breathing should call 911.

Statewide testing at standing health facility sites began last week for patients with a doctor’s recommendation. Those without a primary care provider can contact DPH at 1-888-408-1899, but individuals should not just walk in. Bayhealth patients will be pre-screened via phone without needing to see a provider first.

Individuals awaiting test results should wait to hear back from their medical provider.

Most people recover from COVID-19 with rest and hydration, although illness can be severe in a segment of the population. The elderly and people with underlying health conditions are most at risk.

For general questions about COVID-19 or exposure risk, call DPH at 1-866-408-1899 (711 for individuals who are hearing impaired) from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday or email DPHCall@delaware.gov.

For more information, visit de.gov/coronavirus.

Stevenson House employee

An employee at Stevenson House Detention Center has tested positive for coronavirus, the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families said Tuesday.

The individual is self-isolating at home. The agency said it has cleaned the area where the staff member was stationed and has notified impacted staff.

Families of youth at Stevenson House, which is a secure care detention facility, have been contacted and offenders are being monitored for symptoms, the department said. So far, no one else has reported symptoms.

The agency said it could not provide additional information “to protect personal health information.”

It announced Monday a worker at Ferris School in Wilmington had tested positive for coronavirus.

The agency has limited visitation, implemented screening and increased cleaning procedures over the past few weeks.

“This is a very difficult and stressful time for our staff, youth and families, and I cannot stress enough how we appreciate their flexibility and patience. COVID-19 has changed our way of life here in Delaware and the safety and wellbeing of our staff and youth remains our primary concern,” department Secretary Josette Manning said.

“We have implemented procedural changes to protect staff and youth, and make our decisions by following the guidance of public health officials. We will continue those efforts to protect our staff and youth. Despite the fact that we are in a time of great uncertainty, I am grateful our staff continues to strive every day to help youth rehabilitate and move forward with their lives.”

More masks

A truckload of approximately 600,000 ear-loop face masks arrived in Newark Monday.

The masks come from protective garment distributor and Delaware resident George Gianforcaro. Mr. Gianforcaro, whose wife is a nurse, received the shipments thanks to a long-standing relationship with an overseas distributor, according to U.S. Sen. Chris Coons’ office.

Brendan Mackie, a spokesman for Sen. Coons, said Mr. Gianforcaro is selling them as cheaply as possible and has given some away to health care personnel. Per Mr. Mackie, the Delaware Emergency Management Agency was among the entities looking into buying masks.

The delivery is one of four shipments of the masks, which will go to states around the country. Future shipments are expected to contain N95 protective masks, COVID-19 test kits, isolation gowns, face shields, goggles and respirators.

Mr. Gianforcaro worked with Sen. Coons and Gov. John Carney to bring the items to Delaware.


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

Have a question, tip, or resources about the coronavirus pandemic? Submit it to our newsroom and we’ll do what we can to provide answers.