Kent County enters red stage for COVID case rates

DOVER — Delaware’s statewide criteria for reopening schools amid the COVID-19 pandemic remained in the hybrid “yellow” stage, although Kent County became the first county to enter into the remote-learning only “red” stage, based on data for the week of Nov. 21 to Nov. 27.

Guidance is done for the entire state, not individual counties, so Kent County is still recommended to be hybrid.

“The state of Delaware uses statewide COVID-19 data to make recommendations about school reopenings/closings,” said Delaware Division of Public Health spokeswoman Jen Brestel in an email. “DPH continues to advise districts and charters to follow the statewide school reopening status which currently indicates hybrid learning.

The reopening criteria uses three categories — new case rate per 100,000 people, weekly average of percentage of tests, which are positive and average daily hospitalizations per 100,000 people.

Statewide, the new case rate per 100,000 is in red while the other two are yellow. With two of the three categories in yellow, that dictates the guidance for the whole state. Yellow currently recommends a hybrid model of remote learning and in-person learning options with precautions in place. If another were to go into red, then Delaware would shift to remote learning only in the red stage.

Kent County has its new case rate per 100,000 at 277.1, above the 100.0 need to be yellow, and its percent-positive rate at 8.3%, just above the cutoff for yellow at 8.0%.

The statewide data is 337.7 new cases per 100,000 people (the highest mark yet), 6.1% for percentage of positive tests and 19.2 average daily hospitalizations per 100,000. If the latter two categories rise above 8.0% or 25.0 respectively, then the state would be in the red category.

Delaware is experiencing its highest level of individuals hospitalized with COVID-19 since mid-May.

The number of hospitalizations increased by 32 compared to the day prior in Monday’s report, which reflects data as of Sunday at 6 p.m. There are 243 hospitalized with COVID-19, which is the most since May 15.

Two counties, New Castle County and Kent County, set a record for COVID-19 hospitalizations in Monday’s report. New Castle County is at 142 while Kent County is at 46. Sussex County meanwhile is at 55, still behind its record of 98 set early in the pandemic.

The DPH also reported two new COVID-19-related deaths to bring the state’s total to 772. Both of the most recent deaths were from New Castle County, both had underlying health conditions and neither was a resident of a long-term care facility. The two individuals were 66 and 79 years old.

There were an additional 402 positive cases of COVID-19 reported by the DPH. The state has recorded a total of 35,654 positives since March 11.

Delaware’s seven-day rolling average of percentage of positive tests is still above the World Health Organization’s recommended mark of 5%. As of the most recent day of available data (Friday at 6 p.m.), the seven-day rolling average is at 6.3%.

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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