State investigating COVID outbreaks at three long-term facilities

WILMINGTON — The state is currently investigating the source of COVID-19 outbreaks at three different long-term care centers, Delaware Division of Public Health Director Karyl Rattay said Tuesday at the state’s weekly COVID-19 briefing.

The three facilities experiencing outbreaks are Kentmere Rehabilitation and Health Center in Wilmington, with 36 residents and 25 staff members testing positive, Cadia Healthcare Silverside in Wilmington (19 residents, 14 staff testing positive) and Country Rest Home in Greenwood (18 residents and 14 staff testing positive), according to the DPH.

Dr. Rattay said the DPH’s ongoing investigation has discovered the outbreaks do not appear to be caused by visitation activities or Personal Protective Equipment availability.

“We’re working closely with these facilities and across the board with long-term care to make sure we’ve got the best infection control measures in place,” Dr. Rattay said.

All long-term care centers throughout the state are currently undergoing daily screenings for staff and residents. The DPH is requiring weekly testing at long-term care centers again, after shifting to bi-weekly testing over the summer.

The DPH is also promoting long-term care center staff to repeat training for infection control.

Statewide, Delaware is now up to 20,531 positive cases of COVID-19 after 91 new cases were announced by the DPH. All numbers via the DPH reflect data as of 6 p.m. Monday.

The DPH reported one new COVID-19 -elated death, increasing the state’s total to 635. The most recent death was a 57-year-old Kent County resident, who had an underlying health condition, according to the DPH.

It was the 117th COVID-19-related death in Kent County, which is the least of Delaware’s three counties. New Castle County has experienced the most deaths with 312, followed by Sussex County’s 206.

Delaware’s seven-day rolling average increased to 7.2% — the highest it has been since July 13. The statistic has been higher than the World Health Organization’s recommended mark of 5% every day since Sept. 9.

“It’s bouncing around above 5% which is where we’d prefer it not to be,” said Gov. John Carney.

COVID-19 hospitalizations increased by four to 64, with 12 considered critical.

The DPH also reported 22 individuals recovered from the virus, bringing that total to 10,599. There were also an additional 1,531 people who tested negative for COVID-19, raising that total to 264,957.

For the first time in months, the state does not have a full stockpile of emergency medical equipment. Delaware Emergency Management Agency Director A.J. Schall reported the state only has a stockpile of medical gloves, which could last one to two weeks.

“The bad news is gloves are probably are one of the hardest commodities to find right now,” Mr. Schall said. “There’s about five to six manufacturers and factories who make a majority of the medical-grade gloves that are used across the world. In the middle to late summer, they were shut down due to COVID as they had issues with their staff.”

While there is a glove shortage for now, Mr. Schall said extra supplies of gloves should arrive in 10-14 days.

Mr. Schall added the situation is not similar to what it was during the start of the pandemic.

“The good news is the dependency and the requests coming in are not what we saw in April, May and June,” Mr. Schall said. “However, we still want to prepare for the fall.”

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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