State announces 4 virus deaths after 5 double-digit days

DOVER — The state announced four more COVID-19 deaths on Sunday, bringing to 290 the number of Delawareans who have died of coronavirus related complications.

Fifteen deaths were announced Saturday, the most for a single day so far. Sunday’s report ended a five-day span of double-digit deaths each day.

That number has seen a rapid increase recently, jumping from 224 just seven days before — a change of nearly 30 percent.

As of 6 p.m. Saturday, the state had seen 7,670 total cases, including 123 new ones, according to the Division of Public Health. Two hundred twenty-nine people were hospitalized, the lowest total in a month. Forty-five were critically ill.

In total, 3,478 Delawareans were considered recovered, meaning they’ve gone a week without symptoms.

Delaware’s first official coronavirus case was announced March 11. There were 6,591 cases and 224 deaths one week ago.

As of April 18, four weeks before the latest data, there were 2,613 cases and 67 deaths.

About 0.8 percent of Delawareans, or eight people for every 1,000 residents, have tested positive for the virus.

The most recent deaths involved two women and two men ranging in age from 48 to 80. Three lived in New Castle County and one lived in Sussex County. Two were residents of long-term care facilities, a classification that covers almost two-thirds of the deceased Delawareans.

The virus has disproportionately affected Sussex, which has 24 percent of the state’s population but 49 percent of its COVID-19 cases. The southernmost county has seen 3,739 total cases and 113 deaths, compared to 2,682 and 124 in New Castle. There have been 1,197 cases and 52 deaths involving Kent County.

Additionally, the addresses for 52 people with the virus, including one who died, have not yet been identified.

The outbreak has been particularly severe in the greater Georgetown area, with 5.3 percent of people in the 19947 ZIP code testing positive.

Fifty-seven of the 290 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.

Eighty percent of deaths occurred in individuals 65 or older even though they represent just 19 percent of cases. Three percent involved people younger than 35.

There have been 4,201 cases and 152 deaths involving females and 3,445 cases and 138 deaths involving males. Twenty-four cases have involved people of currently unknown sex.

By race, there have been 2,134 cases and 177 deaths involving non-Hispanic whites, 2,100 cases and 21 deaths involving Hispanics or Latinos, 2,086 cases and 68 deaths involving non-Hispanic blacks, 113 cases and one death involving Asians or Pacific Islanders and 409 cases and three deaths involving people from another race or multiple races. In 828 instances and 20 deaths, race is unknown.

Adjusted for population size, whites in Delaware are more than seven times less likely than Hispanics and 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 61 percent of deaths, while Hispanics account for just 7 percent.

According to DPH, there have been 40,865 tests so far, although that figure is preliminary and does not include an unknown number of results that are pending.

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 Sunday, 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 2 guidance

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