Four more COVID deaths in Delaware, beach bar restrictions lifted

DOVER — Four new COVID-19-related deaths, all from Sussex County, were reported by the Delaware Division of Public Health on Thursday.

The four most recent deaths ranged in age from 61 to 79 years old. All four had underlying health conditions and two were residents of long-term care centers, according to the DPH.

The four deaths in Sussex County increased the county’s total of COVID-19-related deaths to 240. The most COVID-19 deaths in Delaware have come from New Castle County with 354 while Kent County has had 122.

New Castle County surpassed Sussex County for most current COVID-19 hospitalizations statewide with 56. Sussex County is right behind with 52 individuals hospitalized with COVID-19 while Kent County has five for a total of 113 in the state.

Of those currently hospitalized, 28 are considered critical, according to the DPH.

Sussex County is posting the highest positivity rates in the state with a seven-day rolling average of 5.3% of tests which are positive. The county’s seven-day rolling average for percentage of persons testing positive, where each person is only counted once regardless of how many times they are tested, is at 12.8%.

The statewide seven-day rolling averages are 3,6% for percentage of positive tests and 9.8% for percentage of persons testing positive.

Despite the higher rates in Sussex County, Gov. John Carney issued a revision Thursday to the omnibus State of Emergency order, removing additional restrictions at bars in Delaware beach communities.

In a press release, Gov. Carney’s office said the restrictions are being eased due to the end of the busy summer season. Those restrictions were put in place on June 30 in eastern Sussex County establishments after a significant increase in COVID-19 cases in beach communities.

Social distancing guidelines, capacity limits and other COVID-19 restrictions still apply, Gov. Carney’s office said. This revision to food and drink establishments applies to the following locations:

• Lewes, Rehoboth Beach, Dewey Beach, Long Neck, Bethany Beach, South Bethany, Fenwick Island, West Fenwick Island, Ocean View, Millville and/or the following zip codes: 19966 east of Rt. 24 and Rt. 5; 19945 east of Rt. 17; 19975 east of the intersection of Rts. 20 and 54, and the entirety of 19944, 19967, 19970, 19930, 19971 and 19958.

“Our fight against COVID-19 is not over,” Gov. Carney said in a statement. “While we are easing these outbreak-related restrictions at the beach, Delawareans and visitors should stay vigilant. This virus can cause serious illness, especially among our most vulnerable loved ones, friends, and neighbors. We know what works. Wear a mask in public settings. Avoid gatherings and wash your hands frequently. That will help reduce the spread of COVID-19 as we head into the winter season.”

The DPH reported 214 new positive cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, bringing the state’s total to 25,753. There were an additional 1,503 negative tests, increasing that total to 332,633.

All numbers via the DPH reflect data as of 6 p.m. Wednesday.

Also on Thursday, QuestCap announced a launch of COVID-19 testing sites at the Dover Mall.

The lab sites are designed to have capacity for up to 150 tests per day, per site and will charge between $59 and $179 for antibody and antigen tests, according to QuestCap. Tests take no more than 10 minutes to administer and provide results within 24 hours.

Test results can be communicated via text or email and can be accompanied with a certificate of good health via a HIPAA-compliant smartphone application. Appointments and payments will be handled through an online portal www.testbeforeyougo.com.

For a full list of COVID-19 testing sites in Delaware, visit de.gov/gettested.


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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