Small increase in Delaware COVID cases and deaths after larger jump prior day

DOVER — Delaware announced three more coronavirus-related deaths, as well as 36 new cases and 51 new recoveries, on Wednesday.

The Division of Public Health said 413 Delawareans have died from the virus as of 6 p.m. Tuesday. There have been 10,056 total cases, while 5,939 people have recovered, meaning they’ve gone a week without symptoms.

The other 41 percent of Delawareans who have contracted COVID-19 are either currently dealing with it or are now deceased.

As of the latest update, 108 people were hospitalized, among the fewest since early April. Seventeen were critically ill.

The state announced its first case March 11. There were 9,678 cases, 153 hospitalizations and 375 deaths one week ago and 7,272 cases, 282 hospitalizations and 247 deaths as of the May 13 update, four weeks before the latest data.

Although some states have seen recent upticks in cases, new hospitalizations and percentage of tests coming back positive are trending downward here. Given the seeming downturn, Delaware is moving further toward reopening, with capacity limits for many businesses being raised from 30 to 60% starting Monday. Additionally, the ceiling for indoor gatherings will increase from 10 to 50 attendees, and child care services will once again be available to all Delawareans after officials previously limited daycare and related programs to essential workers only.

Outdoor gatherings of up to 250 are allowed, although people can seek waivers from the state to hold larger events. Social distancing and wearing face coverings remain mandatory.

Personal care entities like hair salons, tattoo shops and massage therapy were allowed to open their doors this past Monday.

As Delaware reopens, officials are focusing on widespread free testing, with hopes of screening 80,000 people a month in the near future. For information on testing and contact tracing, visit coronavirus.delaware.gov/testing and coronavirus.delaware.gov/contact-tracing.

So far, about 1.05 percent of Delawareans have tested positive for the virus. DPH said there have been 71,745 tests, although that figure is preliminary and does not include an unknown number of results that are pending.

The virus has been especially prevalent in Sussex County, with 2.3% of the age-adjusted population contracting it, compared to .7% in New Castle County and .9% in Kent County. However, the fatality rate is lowest in the southernmost county at 3.4%, compared to 4.5% in New Castle and 5.1% in Kent (those rates are not age-adjusted).

The high prevalence in Sussex reflects not just the spread of the virus there but also the increased testing in the county that started earlier in the spring. In recent weeks, New Castle’s share has begun to creep up, owing in part to more testing in the northernmost county.

There have been 4,373 cases and 149 deaths involving residents of Sussex, 4,139 and 186 involving people from New Castle and 1,530 and 78 involving Kent natives.

Additionally, the addresses for 14 people who have caught the virus are currently unknown, DPH said.

About 62 percent of Sussex residents, 57 percent of Kent residents, and 56 percent of New Castle residents who contracted the virus have recovered so far.

The deaths announced Wednesday involved two women and one man ranging in age from 65 to 85. One lived in New Castle, while two hailed from Kent. Two were residents of long-term care centers, a statement that describes almost two-thirds of the fatalities here.

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

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% of Delawareans who have caught the virus fit that description. Four out of five deaths involved people 65 or older.

There have been 5,545 cases and 220 deaths involving females and 4,494 cases and 193 deaths involving males. Seventeen cases have involved people of currently unknown sex.

By race, there have been 2,903 cases and 251 deaths involving non-Hispanic white Delawareans, 2,866 cases and 27 deaths involving Hispanic or Latino Delawareans, 2,688 cases and 109 deaths involving non-Hispanic black Delawareans, 155 cases and one death involving Asian or Pacific Islander Delawareans and 498 cases and four deaths involving people from another race or multiple races. In 946 instances and 21 deaths, race is unknown.

Adjusted for population size, white Delawareans are more than seven times less likely than Hispanic Delawareans and almost three times less likely than black Delawareans to have COVID-19. However, although white, black and Hispanic individuals each represent a little more than a quarter of the coronavirus cases here, white people make up 61% of fatalities, while black people are 26% and Hispanic people account for just 7%.

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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