State announces six more COVID-19 deaths, bringing total to 310, while hospitalizations keep falling

DOVER — Delaware announced 157 new COVID-19 cases, including six deaths, Wednesday. According to the Division of Public Heath, the state has seen 8,94 cases and 310 deaths.

As of 6 p.m. Tuesday, 220 people were hospitalized, the lowest total in more than a month. Thirty-five were 35 critically ill.

DPH said 3,965 Delawareans are considered recovered, meaning they’ve gone a week without symptoms.

Delaware’s first official coronavirus case was announced March 11. There were 7,271 cases and 247 deaths one week ago and there were 3,283 cases and 89 deaths as of April 21, four weeks before the latest data.

The state is seeing positive signs like steep drops in new hospitalizations and percentage of people testing positive for COVID-19. Gov. John Carney has loosened some restrictions and announced plans to ease up on other limits as well as Delaware takes some steps toward reopening.

Though the process is not moving nearly as quickly as some would like, officials emphasize it cannot be rushed.

The state has expanded its testing capabilities as part of the effort to stem the tide and allow life to return a bit to pre-COVID times. To that end, it will be holding two drive-through testing events with saliva-based kits over the next few days.

One will take place Thursday from 10 to 2 at Middletown High School (120 Silver Lake Road). The other will be held Sunday from 10 to 2 at the Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles in Dover (303 Transportation Circle).

Attendees should watch the videos at de.gov/testing or (for Spanish) de.gov/pruebas prior to attending and should not eat, drink or brush their teeth within 20 minutes of the test. Preregistering at delaware.curativeinc.com is strongly recommended.

So far, about 0.85 percent of Delawareans, or 85 people for every 10,000 residents, have tested positive for the virus. DPH said there have been 45,412 tests, although that figure is preliminary and does not include an unknown number of results that are pending.

Sussex County continues to bear the brunt of the caseload: Although it has just 24 percent of the state’s population, it’s seen 48 percent of its COVID-19 cases. The southernmost county has 3,960 total cases and 116 deaths, compared to 2,933 and 138 in the more populous New Castle. There have been 1,253 cases and 55 deaths involving Kent County.

Additionally, the addresses for 48 people with the virus, including one who died, have not yet been identified.

The outbreak has been particularly severe in the greater Georgetown area, as about 13.9 percent of people in the 19947 ZIP code have been tested, and 5.5 percent of residents there have had confirmed coronavirus cases.

The most recent deaths involve three men and three women ranging in age from 60 to 90. Three lived in New Castle, two lived in Kent and one lived in Sussex.

Three were residents of long-term care facilities, a classification that covers almost two-thirds of the deceased Delawareans.

Sixty of the 310 people who died had no underlying health conditions, including one of the most recently announced deaths.

Statewide, 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.

Seventy-nine percent of deaths occurred in individuals 65 or older even though they represent just 19 percent of cases. Fifty-eight percent of Delawareans to have caught the virus are younger than 50, yet just 6 percent of deaths involve this age group.

There have been 4,492 cases and 161 deaths involving females and 3,675 cases and 149 deaths involving males. Twenty-seven cases have involved people of currently unknown sex.

By race, there have been 2,318 cases and 188 deaths involving non-Hispanic whites, 2,265 cases and 22 deaths involving Hispanics or Latinos, 2,207 cases and 76 deaths involving non-Hispanic blacks, 120 cases and one death involving Asians or Pacific Islanders and 425 cases and three deaths involving people from another race or multiple races. In 859 instances and 20 deaths, race is unknown.

Adjusted for population size, whites in Delaware are more than three times less likely than blacks and seven times less likely than Hispanics 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 exposed but never tested.

Because of volume, the hospitalization and critically ill numbers now include non-Delawareans, although all other totals are just Delaware residents, according to DPH.

As usual, the agency did not release additional details about the cases Wednesday, citing health privacy laws.


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 1 guidance

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