Small increase in latest Delaware COVID-19 update

DOVER — Although Delaware’s COVID-19 numbers continue to creep upward, it’s a slow crawl, reflecting the success the state has had in combating the virus. After being in lockdown since mid-March, Delaware is in the midst of its reopening, a gradual process that could be rolled back should there be a resurgence.

For now, though, the picture is rosy: The state announced 27 new cases and two additional COVID-related deaths Wednesday, among the smallest totals since March. As of 6 p.m. Tuesday, Delaware stood at 9,712 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 375 related deaths.

According to the Division of Public Health, 153 people were hospitalized for COVID-19, the lowest level in almost three months. Thirty were critically ill.

DPH said 5,493 people have recovered, meaning they’ve gone a week without symptoms.

The state announced its first case March 11. There were 9,120 cases, 196 hospitalizations and 344 deaths one week ago and 5,976 cases, 299 hospitalizations and 193 deaths as of May 6, four weeks before the latest data.

Daily hospital admissions are on a decline over the past month but have been steady around the mid-20s over the previous two weeks. The percentage of new tests returning positive results, meanwhile, has seen a sharp decrease since the beginning of May.

So far, about 1.01 percent of Delawareans have tested positive for the virus. DPH said there have been 64,920 tests, although that figure is preliminary and does not include an unknown number of results that are pending.

The most recent deaths involved two women, one 22 and one 87. One was a New Castle County resident, while the other lived in Sussex County. Both had underlying health conditions, and one was a long-term care resident, a statement that describes approximately two-thirds of COVID deaths here.

As part of its strategy to halt the spread of the virus, the state is hosting free community testing using saliva-based tests. Events will be held today in Bridgeville and Saturday in Millsboro, DPH said.

The first will take place at the Bridgeville Fire Company, located at 311 Market St., from 10 to 2. The Saturday event will be at Millsboro Middle School, located at 302 E. State Street, from 10 to 3.

People are strongly encouraged to preregister at delaware.curativeinc.com, although limited on-site registration will be available. Participants should not eat or drink anything or brush their teeth for 20 minutes prior to taking the test.

For more information, visit coronavirus.delaware.gov/testing.

Of Delaware’s positive cases, about 44 percent have involved residents of Sussex even though the southernmost county has just a quarter of the state’s population. However, the spread appears to have slowed there, owing in large part to concerted efforts to stamp it out.

There have been 4,305 cases and 136 deaths involving Sussex, with 3,903 and 173 involving New Castle. Kent County has seen 1,451 cases and 66 fatalities.

Additionally, the addresses for 53 people who have caught the virus are currently unknown, DPH said.

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 percent of fatalities 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.

About 15 percent of the 375 people who died due to complications stemming from the virus had no underlying health conditions, and approximately two-thirds were long-term care residents.

There have been 5,335 cases and 198 deaths involving females and 4,335 cases and 177 deaths involving males. Forty-two cases involve people of currently unknown sex.

By race, there have been 2,809 cases and 226 deaths involving non-Hispanic whites, 2,724 cases and 24 deaths involving Hispanics or Latinos, 2,565 cases and 99 deaths involving non-Hispanic blacks, 149 cases and one death involving Asians or Pacific Islanders and 487 cases and four deaths involving people from another race or multiple races. In 978 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, whites make up 60 percent of deaths, while Hispanics account for just 6 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 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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