No new COVID deaths in Delaware for first time in two months

DOVER — Delaware’s latest daily COVID update contains no new deaths for the first time in two months.

The Division of Public Health said the state saw no new fatalities Sunday as of 6 p.m. that day, leaving the death toll over the past three months at 398.

The state is now at 9,972 confirmed cases, 30 more than in the previous update. One hundred thirteen people were hospitalized with the virus, among the fewest in two months. Twenty-two individuals were critically ill.

DPH said 5,791 people have recovered, meaning they’ve gone a week without symptoms. That total is actually down one from the day before, which the agency said is due to “reconciling a data entry issue, such as a duplicate entry.”

The other 42% of Delawareans who have contracted COVID-19 are either currently dealing with it or are now deceased.

The state announced its first case March 11. There were 9,580 cases, 159 hospitalizations and 368 deaths one week ago and 7,082 cases, 275 hospitalizations and 224 deaths as of the May 11 update, four weeks before the latest data.

Total hospitalizations and the percentage of new positive tests have been trending downward for weeks, prompting Delaware to take steps toward reopening. Many businesses were allowed to open with strict limits last week, and more restrictions will be waived in the coming weeks. Still, officials warn the virus is not beaten yet, urging Delawareans to continue social distancing and wearing face coverings in public.

So far, about 1.04 percent of Delawareans have tested positive for the virus. DPH said there have been 69,947 tests, although that figure is preliminary and does not include an unknown number of results that are pending.

Officials hope to be able to test 80,000 people a month in the near future. For information on free testing and contact tracing, key parts of the state’s plan to stamp out the spread of the virus, visit coronavirus.delaware.gov/testing and coronavirus.delaware.gov/contact-tracing.

While Sussex County has seen a disproportionate share of the First State’s COVID-19 cases (residents there are more than three more likely than people living in New Castle County and almost three times more likely than those in Kent County to contract the virus), the percentage of cases stemming from Sussex has been steadily falling for more than a week. At the same time, New Castle’s share has begun to creep up, perhaps owing in part to increased testing there.

Among confirmed cases, New Castle also has seen a higher fatality rate than Sussex: About 4.3% of residents of the northernmost county with the virus have died, compared to 3.4% in Sussex. Kent, however, actually has the highest fatality rate: About 5% of residents from the middle county who have caught the virus have died.

In total, there have been 4,353 cases and 146 deaths involving Sussex, 4,095 and 176 involving New Castle and 1,513 and 76 involving Kent. Additionally, the addresses for 11 people who have caught the virus are currently unknown, DPH said.

About 86% of the Delaware deaths, or six out of every seven, involved people with prior known health issues.

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. Just 6% 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.

Slightly less than two-thirds of all fatalities here stemmed from individuals in long-term care homes.

About 1.1 percent of females in the state have caught the virus, compared to .97 percent of males. There have been 5,499 cases and 211 deaths involving females and 4,454 cases and 187 deaths involving males. Nineteen cases have involved people of currently unknown sex.

By race, there have been 2,866 cases and 242 deaths involving non-Hispanic whites, 2,825 cases and 25 deaths involving Hispanics or Latinos, 2,648 cases and 105 deaths involving non-Hispanic blacks, 152 cases and one death involving Asians or Pacific Islanders and 495 cases and four deaths involving people from another race or multiple races. In 986 instances and 21 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, white people make up 61 percent of fatalities, while black people are 26 percent and Hispanics account for just 6%.

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 statistics 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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