NY, NJ, PA, CT remove Delaware from 14-day quarantine list

SMYRNA — Delaware has been removed from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut’s 14-day quarantine list.

Gov. John Carney said at his weekly COVID-19 press conference he has spoken to the governors from each of those four states who informed him Delaware was being taken off their lists.

Gov. Carney said the reason Delaware was removed was because it now meets both criteria to not be on the list — a percentage of positive tests rate lower than 10% over a seven-day rolling average and a positive test rate lower than 10 per 100,000 residents.

New Jersey and New York both announced on their government websites their 14-day quarantine list includes 22 states: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin. Anyone traveling to those states is recommended to self-quarantine for 14 days.

Delaware’s percentage of positive test rate was 4.1% according to numbers released by the Delaware Division of Public Health on Tuesday. Its two-week rolling average is even better at 3.8%, compared to 6.1% from two weeks ago.

The current seven-day rolling average of positive tests is 4.8%, Gov. Carney said at his press conference — way down in comparison to states on the 14-day quarantine list like Arizona (26.5%), Florida (18.7%) and Texas (16.9%).

“There’s really no comparison between the situation on the ground here in Delaware and the situation in those other states which are really the target of their out-of-state quarantine,” Gov. Carney said.

Gov. Carney attributed the rise in positive cases to an outbreak at the Delaware beaches, which skewed the numbers over the last two weeks.

Testing done at Rehoboth/Dewey Beach had a 10.3% rate of positive tests the week of June 26. Two weeks before that, the percent positive rate in the same area was 0.8% and it was 4.3% one week before. In Lewes meanwhile, the same week of June 26 saw a percent positive rate of 7%, up from 1.8% the week prior.

The percent positive rate in those areas has dropped to 4.6% in Lewes and 5.5% in Rehoboth/Dewey Beach based on last week’s testing.

The mass amount of testing in an effort to control that outbreak is what caused Delaware’s numbers to fail to meet the standards of the surrounding states to stay off the quarantine list briefly, to the dismay of Gov. Carney, saying he felt like it was punishing Delaware for testing aggressively.

“We had our wakeup call, which did set us back,” Gov. Carney said. “It did marginally put us on the quarantine list from states in our region. I would still argue we didn’t belong there. We’re happy to be off but it ought to be motivation to stay off those lists.”

“Thank you to the people of Delaware for leaning into the outbreak we had in Eastern Sussex County,” Gov. Carney added. “It is kind of a wakeup call for us that our ability to manage our situation here and the number of positive cases by wearing face masks, by keeping social distancing, by avoiding large gatherings, by following the guidelines and restrictions, will keep us out of jeopardy of going over these criteria. We are still kind of on the margin.”

The DPH announced 92 new positive COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, which pushed Delaware’s total number of positives to 12,969. There are currently 48 hospitalizations due to COVID-19, with 10 of those listed as critical.

The DPH also announced one new COVID-19 related death — a 77-year-old from Sussex County who had underlying health conditions. Delaware’s total number of deaths now stands at 518.

All numbers via the DPH are as of 6 p.m. Monday.

The state also announced new resources regarding COVID-19 testing. Those looking to get tested can now search by ZIP code on the testing website de.gov/gettested.

Dr. Karyl Rattay, the director of the DPH, said on Tuesday the state will announce news regarding testing at pharmacies later this week. This is in addition to testing available at hospitals, urgent care centers, testing events set up by the state and employer-based testing.

Dr. Rattay said the DPH aims to make it easy and predictable for the public to know where testing is available seven days a week.

“Our goal at this point is that Delawareans have easy access to COVID testing of their choice, when and where they need it,” Dr. Rattay said. “And also, that we are getting results back as quickly as possible.”

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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