Nine new deaths but otherwise positive indicators in latest COVID update

DOVER — Delaware announced nine fatalities related to COVID-19 Wednesday, bringing the total so far to 344. There have been 9,096 cases, including 30 new ones, which represents one of the smallest single-day totals in two months.

However, the nine new deaths are the most announced for one day in 11 days.

Still, there’s good news in the form of the number of hospitalizations dipping below 200 for the first time in slightly more than six weeks.

According to the Division of Public Health, 196 people (54 percent of all cases) were hospitalized as of 6 p.m. Tuesday, with 36 critically ill.

In total, 4,909 people have recovered, meaning they’ve gone a week without symptoms.

The state announced its first case March 11. There were 8,387 cases, 220 hospitalizations and 310 deaths one week ago and 4,806 cases, 316 hospitalizations and 144 deaths as of April 29, four weeks before the latest data.

So far, about 0.94 percent of Delawareans, or 94 people for every 10,000 residents, have tested positive for the virus. DPH said there have been 55,421 tests, although that figure is preliminary and does not include an unknown number of results that are pending.

The deaths announced Wednesday involve six men and three women ranging in age from 52 to 99. Five lived in New Castle County and four lived in Sussex County.

Five were residents of long-term care facilities, a statement that describes about two-thirds of all COVID-related deaths here.

Sussex has been hit hard by the virus: Even though New Castle has seen more fatalities, residents there are three-and-a-half times less likely than their southern counterparts to catch coronavirus.

There are 4,140 cases and 128 deaths involving people from Sussex and 3,528 and 155 involving New Castle Countians. Kent County has seen 1,374 cases and 61 deaths.

Additionally, the addresses for 54 people who have caught the virus are currently unknown, DPH said.

Sixty-three of the 344 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 deaths 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 5,001 cases and 176 deaths involving females and 4,066 cases and 168 deaths involving males. Twenty-nine cases involve people of currently unknown sex.

By race, there have been 2,645 cases and 211 deaths involving non-Hispanic whites, 2,518 cases and 23 deaths involving Hispanics or Latinos, 2,430 cases and 85 deaths involving non-Hispanic blacks, 135 cases and one death involving Asians or Pacific Islanders and 465 cases and four deaths involving people from another race or multiple races. In 909 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.

Delaware is holding a free testing event today in Harrington. It will take place at Lake Forest South/WT Chipman Campus from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Individuals are urged to preregister, though limited on-site registration will be available, and not to eat or drink anything or brush their teeth for 20 minutes prior to taking the test.

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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