Just one new coronavirus-related death in Delaware as spread seems to be slowing

DOVER — Delaware announced one new coronavirus death on Thursday, the smallest total for a single day in 17 days. The state now stands at 345 deaths and 9,171 cases.

The number of hospitalizations continues to decline and, as of 6 p.m. Wednesday, was at 192, the lowest in slightly more than six weeks. According to the Division of Public Health, 35 people were critically ill.

DPH said 5,010 people have recovered, meaning they’ve gone a week without symptoms.

The state announced its first case March 11. There were 8,468 cases, 220 hospitalizations and 317 deaths one week ago and 4,844 cases, 296 hospitalizations and 152 deaths as of April 30, four weeks before the latest data.

There have been 23 deaths over the past week, half as many as in the prior seven days.

So far, about 0.95 percent of Delawareans, or 95 people for every 10,000 residents, have tested positive for the virus. DPH said there have been 56,801 tests, although that figure is preliminary and does not include an unknown number of results that are pending.

The most recent death was an 86-year-old woman from Sussex County. Like about two-thirds of all Delawareans to die COVID-related deaths, she was a long-term care resident.

As part of its fight against the virus, Delaware is holding widespread free community testing. DPH said the newest event is scheduled for Tuesday in Lewes. It will take place from 10 to 2 at Beacon Middle School at 19483 John J Williams Highway.

People are strongly encouraged to preregister at delaware.curativeinc.com, although limited on-site registration will be available. Participants should not eat or drink anything or brush their teeth for 20 minutes prior to taking the test.

Of Delaware’s 9,171 cases, about 45 percent have involved residents of Sussex County even though the southernmost county has just a quarter of the state’s population. However, the spread appears to have slowed in Sussex, owing in large part to concerted efforts to stamp it out.

In total, Sussex has seen 4,151 cases and 129 deaths, with 3,575 and 155 in the more populous New Castle County. There have been 1,392 cases and 61 deaths involving Kent County.

Additionally, the addresses for 53 people who have caught the virus are currently unknown, DPH said.

About 18 percent of the 345 people who died due to complications stemming from the virus had no underlying health conditions.

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.

Just 5 percent of fatalities involved people younger than 50 even though 58 percent of Delawareans who have caught the virus fit that description. Eighty percent of deaths involved people 65 or older.

There have been 5,050 cases and 177 deaths involving females and 4,092 cases and 168 deaths involving males. Twenty-nine cases involve people of currently unknown sex.

By race, there have been 2,668 cases and 212 deaths involving non-Hispanic whites, 2,552 cases and 23 deaths involving Hispanics or Latinos, 2,449 cases and 85 deaths involving non-Hispanic blacks, 137 cases and one death involving Asians or Pacific Islanders and 467 cases and four deaths involving people from another race or multiple races. In 898 instances and 20 deaths, race is unknown.

Adjusted for population size, whites in Delaware are more than seven times less likely than Hispanics and almost three times less likely than blacks 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.

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 were exposed but never tested. Individuals who tests show previously had the virus but no longer do are not counted in the cumulative total.

Because of volume, the hospitalization and critically ill numbers now include non-Delawareans, although all other totals are just Delaware residents, according to DPH.

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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