With eight more deaths, state now sits at 152 casualties from COVID-19

DOVER — Delaware announced 79 more COVID-19 cases, including eight new deaths, Thursday. The state now stands at 4,734 laboratory-confirmed cases and 152 deaths related to the virus, according to the Division of Public Health.

As of 6 p.m. Wednesday, 296 people were hospitalized in Delaware from coronavirus-related issues, with 65 critically ill. DPH said 1,275 individuals, or slightly more than a quarter of those diagnosed with the virus, have recovered, meaning they have gone without symptoms for at least a week.

Delaware’s first official coronavirus case came on March 11, with the first death announced March 26.

As of April 22, one week before the latest day for which there is data, the state had seen 3,308 cases and 92 deaths. There were 2,014 cases and 46 deaths one week prior to that.

After announcing 413 cases, the second-largest bump so far, on Tuesday, Delaware has seen an additional 159 cases since, the lowest two-day total in almost two weeks.

More diagnoses could come rolling in soon, however: Much of the increase in recent weeks has stemmed from Sussex County, prompting the state to offer free community testing there.

Beebe Healthcare said it tested approximately 600 people Wednesday at an event held by it, the state and other entities. Similar events will take place over the next few days.

As of Wednesday night, Sussex had 2,216 total cases, as well as 58 deaths resulting from COVID-19. Many of those positive cases are clustered around the greater Georgetown area.

There have been 1,734 cases and 68 deaths involving New Castle County, with 759 cases and 26 deaths involving Kent County. In 25 cases, the patient’s home is unknown.

Despite the fact it has only 24 percent of the state’s population, Sussex has been the home of nearly 47 percent of Delaware’s COVID-19 cases.

The most recent deaths involve seven women and one man ranging from ages 65 to 95. Three were New Castle residents, one was a Kent resident and four were Sussex residents.

Two did not have any underlying health conditions.

Statewide, Delawareans who have had confirmed cases range in age from less than a year old to 103, with deaths involving people from ages 32 to 103, according to DPH. The vast majority of people who died were elderly.

Ninety-six deaths have involved residents of long-term facilities, including seven of the eight announced Thursday.

In all, there have been 2,163 cases and 74 deaths involving males, 2,542 cases and 78 deaths involving females and 29 cases involving people of unknown gender.

The coronavirus’ spread in Delaware can also be broken down by ethnicity: 1,313 cases have involved blacks, 1,216 have involved whites, 1,008 have involved Hispanics or Latinos, 69 have involved Asians or Pacific Islanders and 251 have involved people from another race or multiple races. In 877 instances, race is unknown.

Of the people who died, 87 were white, 36 were black, five were Hispanic or Latino, one was Asian or Pacific Islander, three belonged to another race or multiple races and 20 were of an unknown race.

Adjusted for population size, whites in Delaware are more than six times less likely than Hispanics and three times less likely than blacks to have COVID-19.

DPH has stopped offering information on specific deaths, announcing Saturday it will no longer be providing the age, gender and location of each victim.

“As we now have over 100 deaths, tracking specific information for individual deaths gets more challenging and we want to make sure our information is accurate,” DPH spokeswoman Stacey Hofmann wrote in an email Monday. “The long-term care section was removed Saturday, but we may look to provide it weekly rather than daily moving forward.

“We are evaluating that, but we want to make sure we are sharing information in a way that limits potential errors, is accurate to the best of our knowledge and provides information that is truly valuable to Delawareans.”

There have been 21,820 total tests, DPH said, although it cautions the figure is preliminary and should not be used as a substitute for the overall number of Delawareans who have been tested.

Based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Delaware is counting deaths of not just individuals with laboratory-confirmed coronavirus cases but also people who had symptoms consistent with COVID-19 and were exposed to a confirmed case 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 the agency.

As usual, DPH did not release additional details about the cases Thursday, 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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