Much of Delaware on COVID hotspot list as three more deaths reported

WILMINGTON — The Delaware Division of Public Health reported three new COVID-19-related deaths in its daily update on Wednesday.

The three most recent deaths ranged in age from 49 years old to 77 years old. Two of the three had underlying health conditions, according to the DPH, and none were resident of long-term care facilities.

Delaware’s COVID-19-related death toll rose to 742. The three deaths, two from New Castle County and one from Sussex County, comes as the state is experiencing its highest average of daily new cases and a level of COVID-19 hospitalizations not seen since early June.

There are currently 153 individuals hospitalized in Delaware with COVID-19. That total remained unchanged compared to the day prior which is the highest mark since June 2.

The DPH reported 198 new positive cases in Wednesday’s report, which reflects data as of Tuesday at 6 p.m. Delaware’s seven-day rolling average of new daily positive cases dropped from 347.9 to 342.6. The mark of 347.9 cases per day was an all-time high while 342.6 is the second-highest seven-day rolling average since the start of the pandemic.

DPH Director Karyl Rattay listed the areas throughout the state where the DPH is seeing elevated levels of community spread at a press briefing on Tuesday. The list was the longest its been since the pandemic began.

“There’s been times where we have maybe six or eight ZIP codes or so that meet those criteria,” Dr. Rattay said. “But now it is much of the state.”

The areas of concern mentioned by the DPH are:

• In New Castle County — Claymont, Wilmington, Elsmere, Newark, Bear, Christiana, Stanton, Newport, New Castle, Middletown and Townsend.

• In Kent County — Dover.

• In Sussex County — Milford, Lincoln, Ellendale, Milton, Georgetown, Bridgeville, Seaford, Laurel, Delmar, Lewes, Rehoboth Beach, Dewey Beach, Bethany Beach, Frankford and Selbyville.

“The bottom line is we’re seeing significant increases throughout our state at this point in time,” Dr. Rattay said.

Dr. Rattay added Sussex County is still posting the highest case rates per population, as it as for most of the pandemic. The fastest increases this past week however came from New Castle County, highlighted by the Bear, Middletown and Townsend areas plus the Newark area, which features clusters of cases both related and unrelated to the college-aged population of the University of Delaware.

Delaware’s seven-day rolling average of percentage of positive tests stayed the same compared to the previous day of data at 5.5%. That data is as of Monday at 6 p.m. The two-day lag is to account for the time delay between the date of the test and the date that DPH receives the test result.

For reference, the World Health Organization recommends a seven-day rolling average below 5%

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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