Trump approves Delaware disaster relief funds; total cases reach 673

President Donald Trump declared Delaware a major disaster area Sunday and directed federal assistance to supplement the state’s recovery efforts in response to the coronavirus pandemic, as another 80 positive cases were reported, bringing the state’s total to 673.

With President Trump’s approval of the state’s disaster declaration, federal funding is available to support state and local governments, as well as some private nonprofits for emergency protective measures, including direct federal assistance, for all areas in Delaware impacted by COVID-19, according to a release.

MaryAnn Tierney was named as the federal coordinating officer for recovery operations in the affected areas, officials said. The state could request additional designations, if deemed necessary in further assessments.

There were no new fatalities due to COVID-19 reported over the weekend, but Delaware crossed into triple digits for hospitalizations statewide, with 101 people hospitalized, according to the Division of Public Health. Of those hospitalized, 25 are critically ill, DPH said in a release.

The state is still reporting 71 individuals as recovered.

There are 436 positive cases in New Castle County, 86 in Kent County and 151 in Sussex County.

Of those tested, 6,321 have been negative cases.

Included in the positive cases is a second correctional officer from James T. Vaughn Correctional Center, according to a release from the Department of Correction Saturday.

The officer, who was assigned to maximum security housing, was last at Vaughn on Tuesday, March 31. On that same day, the officer sought medical attention after experiencing flu-like symptoms and was tested, Paul Shavack, a spokesman, said in a release.

The officer has been isolating at home; the results were confirmed Saturday, said Mr. Shavack.

Mr. Shavack said that the officer “likely had contact” with the first officer who tested positive for COVID-19, which was announced Friday. That officer was last at Vaughn on Friday, March 27 and has beeen self-isolating since Saturday, March 28, Mr. Shavack said.
The overall number of new cases Sunday represent a less steep incline than what played out at the end of last week, where, from April 2 to April 4, positive cases increased by 200.

On Saturday, DPH received a shipment of 5,000 rapid test kits, which will primarily be used to test “health care workers, first responders and residents of long-term care facilities where outbreaks are suspected,” according to a release from DPH. Results can be provided in 5 to 15 minutes.

The tests were put to use on Sunday, according to DPH, which ran drive-thru testing for first responders and health care workers. The 10 individuals tested all had come in contact with a person with a confirmed case of COVID-19, but were asymptomatic.

The results for all of the first responders were negative, and they were cleared to return to work, DPH said in a release.

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

Have a question, tip, or resources about the coronavirus pandemic? Submit it to our newsroom and we’ll do what we can to provide answers.