State’s virus total climbs to 119, including base airman

Bayheath’s temporary emergency room entrance on South Governors Avenue in Dover. Delaware State News/Marc Clery

DOVER — Delaware’s official coronavirus count rose from 104 to 119 on Wednesday. There have been no deaths, although 14 people are hospitalized, including seven who are critically ill, the Division of Public Health said.

The patients range in age from 1 to 90.

Most of the cases so far are clustering in New Castle County, as is expected given it contains a majority of the state’s population. There are 79 total cases in the northernmost county, with 26 in Sussex and 14 in Kent.

DPH is not releasing further information about the individuals.

The first case was announced March 11. There were 26 cases in Delaware on March 18.

Delaware has been in a state of emergency since March 12 and officials have closed schools and non-essential businesses and instructed Delawareans to avoid contact with others.

The official coronavirus total includes both active and recovered cases. Individuals are considered “recovered” if it has been seven days since symptoms ended.

Patients are not required to self-isolate three days after symptoms clear up, although they still must practice “extreme” social distancing for the next four days.

Gov. John Carney on Wednesday asked all vendors interesting in providing supplies to help deal with the COVID-19 outbreak to email the state at contracting@delaware.gov. Vendors should indicate their immediate availability and explain what items they have. Among the supplies needed are hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes, nitrile gloves, Tyvek suits and N95 masks.

“We are thankful for the vendors that have already stepped up to offer their assistance during this time of crisis,” the governor said in a statement. “It’s no surprise that so many Delawareans and Delaware businesses want to help our health care workers, and to keep as many of their neighbors as safe as possible.

“But we need everyone’s help in this effort. Delawareans should follow basic hygiene practices and stay home unless it’s essential to go out for work, or for the health and well-being of your family. We’ll get through this, but we all need to pitch in and take this threat seriously.”

An Air Force member currently assigned to Dover Air Force Base became the first airman at the base to test positive for coronavirus, the base said late Tuesday.

Samples from the individual were confirmed at an off-base medical facility in Delaware, and the person is currently in isolation on the base.

“We are carefully monitoring this situation and making appropriate notifications,” Col. Matthew Jones, 436th Airlift Wing commander, said in a statement. “The health and safety of Team Dover continues to be the top priority and leadership from Dover AFB is committed to working closely with local agencies to mitigate further spread of the virus.”

Public health officials have begun tracing the individual’s recent activity in order to ensure the safety of airmen, families and the community.

For base-specific information about COVID-19, visit www.dover.af.mil/Coronavirus. For additional questions, call 677-3372, visit the Dover AFB Facebook page at www.facebook.com/DoverAirForceBase, or email 436AW.PA@us.af.mil.

The Department of Correction is suspending group treatment programs at Probation and Parole offices for two weeks, while DPH is altering services to protect public health. DPH’s Office of Vial Statistics is restricting in-person service to appointments only, its Office of Food Protection will no longer accept walk-ins and the Office of Medical Marijuana is requesting patients and caregivers mail applications.

Those looking for records from the Office of Vital Statistics can mail in requests or order certificates online using VitalChek or GoCertificates. The office’s website is bit.ly/3b4owZS. To make an appointment or ask questions, call 283-7130 (New Castle County), 744-4549 (Kent County) or 856-5495 (Sussex County).

Food establishments needing to pay permit fees can visit bit.ly/2QFnKKP. All plan reviews need to be mailed in to Plan Review at 417 Federal Street, Suite 130 in Dover (19901). More information can be found online at bit.ly/2QFnKKP and staff can reached by phone at 744-4536, option 3, or at HSPContact@delaware.gov.

Applications for medical marijuana can be mailed to the Office of Medical Marijuana at 417 Federal St. in Dover (19901). To access an application, visit bit.ly/2IWnSBB or call 744-4749 to have it mailed.

Statewide testing at standing health facility sites began Monday for patients with a doctor’s recommendation. Those without a primary care provider can contact DPH at 1-888-408-1899, but individuals should not just walk in.

People who are sick, especially with shortness of breath or a fever and coughing, should stay home and contact their primary care provider instead of first heading to the emergency room or an urgent care center. A person experiencing a medical emergency such as significant trouble breathing should call 911.

COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, does not have a vaccine yet. Most people recover with rest and hydration, although illness can be severe in a segment of the population. The elderly and people with underlying health conditions are most at risk.

Individuals awaiting test results should wait to hear back from their medical provider.

More than 54,000 people have been diagnosed with the virus in the United States, with more than 700 deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Delawareans with general questions about COVID-19 or their exposure risk can call DPH at 1-866-408-1899 (711 for individuals who are hearing impaired) from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday or email DPHCall@delaware.gov.

For more information, visit de.gov/coronavirus.


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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