MEDIA ADVISORY: Public Health Makes Changes to Daily COVID-19 Reporting Format
Data Dashboard to be Updated During Noon Hour Starting Monday
Smyrna, DE (April 19, 2020) – Starting Monday, April 20, 2020, the Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) will begin providing its daily updates on COVID-19 statistics on the de.gov/coronavirus website during the noon hour. Data will reflect the most current information available as of the close of business the previous day.
The DPH Epidemiology team has spent the past week transitioning to a new infectious disease surveillance system. In order to facilitate the team’s ability to make the final transition for implementing system enhancements, DPH will not be releasing updated case numbers or a press release today, Sunday, April 19, 2020. The online numbers will be updated again during the noon hour on Monday, followed by a press release outlining the latest statistics.
DPH is making the change in reporting time for several reasons. The time change provides adequate time for DPH staff to validate new case data and ensure accuracy and will ensure members of the news media have updated statistics earlier in the day to meet deadlines.
In addition, over the next week, enhanced capability through DPH’s new surveillance database, will allow the State to begin providing additional data on key demographic information, such as race/ethnicity for positive cases and deaths, as well as age-adjusted incidence rates by ZIP code.
Anyone with a question about COVID-19, whether related to medical or social service needs, should call Delaware 2-1-1; or 7-1-1 for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing, or text your ZIP code to 898-211. Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
In addition, the Division of Public Health asks any Delaware health care, long-term care, residential, or other high-risk facility with questions or concerns to email: DPH_PAC@delaware.gov or call the DPH Call Center at 1-866-408-1899 and press ext. 2. Questions about health-related topics can also be submitted by email at DPHCall@delaware.gov.
The DPH Call Center is announcing a change in its hours due to reduced call volume. The DPH Call Center will operate Monday – Friday 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. and Saturdays 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. The Call Center will be closed on Sundays; all messages and emails will be returned on Monday.
DPH will continue to update the public as more information becomes available. For the latest on Delaware’s response, go to de.gov/coronavirus.