DOVER (March 2, 2020) – The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) is announcing that both pending test results for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) have come back negative. These tests were the first to be run by the Delaware Public Health Laboratory, which began testing today. The results for the two individuals in Kent County, are considered presumptive negative, pending confirmatory testing by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
DPH will not be providing any additional information about these persons. Three Delawareans previously had been tested for COVID-19, and all three results were negative.
In addition, DPH continues to monitor 14 asymptomatic travelers (travelers who are not sick with fever/cough/shortness of breath) arriving in the U.S. from mainland China after Feb. 3. The CDC recommended that such travelers be monitored for 14 days after their return. During the 14 days after their return from China, these persons are being asked to remain at home while self-monitoring for symptoms. If any of these persons show symptoms of fever, cough and/or shortness of breath, they are asked to call DPH right away to determine next steps, which may include transport to a local hospital for evaluation, isolation and testing.
Additionally, DPH is also issuing updated guidance for monitoring returning travelers as new countries have been added to the list of countries with coronavirus disease-related travel alerts. Any travelers returning from a country with a Level 2 or higher Travel Alert in the last 14 days and who:
- Have fever, cough and/or shortness of breath, should contact DPH at 1-888-295-5156 to discuss next steps. Those who need to call 9-1-1 for a medical emergency should advise dispatchers of their recent travel and symptoms.
- Do not have fever, cough and/or shortness of breath (asymptomatic travelers), should contact DPH at 1-888-295-5156 for instructions on self-monitoring.
- Asymptomatic returning travelers are asked to stay home (no work, school, attending public gatherings) during this 14-day period. If a returning traveler develops symptoms during this time, and there is no medical emergency, they should contact DPH instead of calling 9-1-1 or visiting a walk-in or urgent care facility.
Guidance on monitoring of returning travelers and other information about coronavirus disease is changing rapidly and frequently. Travelers are encouraged to follow the latest guidance on de.gov/coronavirus.
DPH recommends everyday measures that people can take to prevent the spread of all infections, which would also slow the spread of coronavirus disease:
- Cough or sneeze into your elbow, not your hand. If you use a tissue, dispose of it right away.
- Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly, including the backs of your hands and under your nails.
- Clean surfaces at home, work or school that you use often.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- If you are healthy, the CDC does not recommend buying or using face masks. If you are infected, however, a mask can help prevent the spread of a virus.
Both CDC and DPH continue to state that the risk of COVID-19 spreading to the general public remains low. While the number of cases are increasing in the U.S., there is no community spread of the virus in Delaware.
DPH will continue to update the public as more information becomes available. For more information on COVID-19, visit de.gov/coronavirus.