DPH Marking First Lyme Disease Awareness Week with Outreach, Education and Activities

DOVER  – Lyme disease is the most common vector-borne disease in the United States with approximately 20,000 new cases reported each year. Delaware is among the top 10 states in the United States with the highest incidence rates. In 2018, the Division of Public Health (DPH) reported 520 confirmed and probable cases in the state.

As both the frequency of tick bites and the occurrence of Lyme disease increase as the weather warms up, DPH is ramping up its BLAST Lyme Disease awareness campaign and its outreach efforts. This year, these efforts are aimed at educating both the general public and medical providers about tick bite prevention, and how to best diagnose and treat Lyme disease. Additionally, Senate Concurrent Resolution 43, sponsored by State Senator Ernesto B. Lopez (R – SD 6) and Speaker of the House Pete Schwartzkopf (D – RD 14), recognizing May 19 – 25, 2019 as Lyme Disease Awareness Week in Delaware, passed both chambers on Thursday.

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection caused by the bites of blacklegged or deer ticks. Some, but not all, Lyme disease infections cause a red “bull’s eye” rash. Rashes can occur anywhere on the body and vary in size and shape. The rash can be warm to the touch and is usually not painful or itchy. Other symptoms are fever and/or chills, fatigue, muscle and joint aches, and headaches.

This week DPH epidemiologists are conducting interactive educational presentations at Delaware elementary and middle schools in order to increase awareness of tick-borne diseases, how to prevent tick bites, and how to safely remove ticks. Their efforts are an ongoing part of the BLAST campaign, which offer the presentations year-round to camps, schools and organizations. Any group or organization can request a presentation by calling 888-295-5156. BLAST is an acronym for remembering five simple steps you can take to protect yourself, family, and pets from Lyme disease:

• Bathe or shower within two hours of coming indoors.
• Look for ticks on your body and remove them.
• Apply repellent to your body and clothes.
• Spray your yard.
• Treat your pet.

Additionally, DPH is making poly-vinyl tick bite prevention trail signs available to all parks and municipalities statewide while supplies last. DPH will present nine of them to the Town of Milton on Wednesday, May 22 at 11:30 a.m. in Milton Memorial Park for posting at the entrances to the Town’s parks and walking trails. To reserve signs, call DPH at 302-744-4930. Also new this year are a series of short videos on tick bite prevention and removal (for humans and their pets) being added to DPH’s social media channels, and a short online survey for state employees to benchmark their awareness and knowledge of Lyme disease, and preventive and tick removal measures.

Most cases of Lyme disease can be cured with two to three weeks of antibiotics taken by mouth. However, a small percentage of patients with Lyme disease have symptoms like muscle and joint pains, arthritis, cognitive defects, sleep disturbance, and fatigue that last months or years after treatment with antibiotics, and can be challenging for the patient to live with. Also, Lyme disease can be difficult to diagnose, as not all patients with Lyme disease will develop the characteristic bull’s-eye rash, and tick exposures may often go undetected. Untreated infections can lead to severe joint pain and swelling (particularly the knees), loss of muscle tone on one or both sides of the face (called “Bell’s palsy”), dizziness, severe headaches and neck stiffness, and neurological problems.

To assist medical providers in diagnosing and treating Lyme disease, DPH has created educational flyers that will be distributed through state health care association partners. Also, since early recognition of Lyme disease decreases associated morbidity and promotes good health outcomes, DPH is providing links to two webinars that offer CEUs/CMEs on its website. A webinar produced by DPH and the Medical Society of Delaware describes the epidemiology (with particular emphasis on Delaware), early recognition, and prevention of Lyme disease. It is suitable for physicians, physician assistants, and all levels of nurses (i.e., advanced practice, RN, LPN) and can be found at: http://medicalthoughtleaders.com/MSD/LD/LD1.html through June 30, 2019. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also offers a free online course that teaches the proper identification and treatment of tick-borne diseases. Health care providers can visit https://www.cdc.gov/lyme/healthcare/index.html to learn more about the course and the credit hours available.

Other ongoing components of the BLAST Lyme Disease campaign includes print, radio, Facebook, and digital ads in English and Spanish, which began running in late April. DPH’s Lyme webpage at lyme.de/gov features detailed tick removal instructions and a printable poster of common symptoms, and a “Kids Korner” filled with engaging activities.

A person who is deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind or speech-disabled can call the DPH phone number above by using TTY services. Dial 7-1-1 or 800-232-5460 to type your conversation to a relay operator, who reads your conversation to a hearing person at DPH. The relay operator types the hearing person’s spoken words back to the TTY user. To learn more about TTY availability in Delaware, visit http://delawarerelay.com.

The Delaware Department of Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware’s citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations. DPH, a division of DHSS, urges Delawareans to make healthier choices with the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day, have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, gaming), get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day, and drink almost no sugary beverages.


Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs to sponsor nine special events during June 2019

(DOVER, Del.—May 20, 2019)—During the month of June 2019, the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs will be sponsoring nine special programs at sites across the state. A full schedule is included below. Except where noted, all programs are free and open to the public.

The First Delaware Regiment will be conducting demonstrations on the New Castle Green as part of the "Separation—Freedom for Delaware" program on June 9, 2019. The program is a component of New Castle’s annual Separation Day celebration.
The First Delaware Regiment will be conducting demonstrations on the New Castle Green as part of the “Separation—Freedom for Delaware” program on June 9, 2019. The program is a component of New Castle’s annual Separation Day celebration.

Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs special events, June 2019

Saturday, June 1, 2019
“Black Music Month Celebration.” In recognition of African-American Music Appreciation Month, guided tours will highlight the contributions African-American artists made to music around the world, accompanied by 78-rpm recordings played on authentic Victor Talking Machines. First Saturday in the First State program. Johnson Victrola Museum, 375 S. New St., Dover. 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-739-3262.

Paul Robeson will be one of the artists featured in the “Black Music Month Celebration” at the Johnson Victrola Museum on June 1, 2019.
Paul Robeson will be one of the artists featured in the “Black Music Month Celebration” at the Johnson Victrola Museum on June 1, 2019.

Saturday, June 1, 2019
“Play That Old-Time Country Music.” Program explores Victor Records’ early recordings of country music, accompanied by 78-rpm records played on authentic Victor Talking Machines. First Saturday in the First State program. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Program at 1 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Free admission but, due to space restrictions, reservations are required by calling 302-744-5054.

Sunday, June 9, 2019
“Separation—Freedom for Delaware.” As part of the Separation Day celebration marking the 242nd anniversary of Delaware’s split from Great Britain and Pennsylvania to form the Delaware State, the New Castle Court House Museum, 211 Delaware St., will offer activities and demonstrations by the First Delaware Regiment from 1:30-4:30 p.m., and “Caesar Rodney in his Own Words,” a historical play by museum historic-site interpreter David Price at 2 p.m. Both activities will take place on the Green adjacent to the museum. Admission free for museum events. 302-323-4453.

Thursdays, June 13, 20 and 27, 2019
Lost Off Lewes: The British Warship DeBraak.” Special tour explores the history, artifacts and surviving hull section of this 18th-century shipwreck. Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. 9 a.m. Limited seating. Admission $10 (cash or check only). For reservations, e-mail hca_zmevents@state.de.us or call 302-645-1148.

Artistic rendition of the capsizing of the DeBraak by Peggy Kane, 1990
Artistic rendition of the capsizing of the DeBraak by Peggy Kane, 1990

Wednesday, June 26, 2019
Historic preservation symposium. Daylong series of programs exploring National Register nominations, disaster preparedness, and issues regarding the elevation of historic properties. The Delaware Room, Delaware Public Archives, 121 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Dover. 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Free admission but, due to space restrictions, reservations are required by calling 302-736-7400 no later than June 19, 2019.

Saturday, June 29, 2019
Lost Off Lewes: The British Warship DeBraak.” Special tour explores the history, artifacts and surviving hull section of this 18th-century shipwreck. Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. 5 p.m. Limited seating. Admission $10 (cash or check only). For reservations, e-mail hca_zmevents@state.de.us or call 302-645-1148.

Saturday, June 29, 2019
Wilmington Pirate Festival. Event includes pirate-themed ship tours, demonstrations, games, crafts, live music, face painting, food and beverages. Kalmar Nyckel Shipyard and Fort Christina National Historic Landmark, 1110 E. Seventh St., Wilmington. 10 a.m.–4 p.m. 302-429-7447.

Exhibits and displays, June 2019
In addition to special programming, the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs is sponsoring the following exhibits and displays. Admission is free and open to the public:

Ongoing
Delaware Railroads: Elegant Travel and Timely Transport.” Exhibit explores the history of rail travel and transport in the First State emphasizing the New Castle and Frenchtown Railroad (1832), the Delaware Railroad (1852), the Junction and Breakwater Railroad (1857) and the Queen Anne’s Railroad (1896). Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. Nov. 1–March 31: Wed.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. April 1–Oct. 31: Tue.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m.; Sun., 1:30–4:30 p.m. 302-645-1148.

Ongoing
Drawing America to Victory: The Persuasive Power of the Arts in World War I.” Online exhibit revolves around 27 World War I posters from the collections of the State of Delaware.

Ongoing
Five Stories.” Display explores the varied lives of people who lived on the plantation including Dickinson family members, tenant farmers, tradesmen, free blacks, indentured servants and enslaved individuals. John Dickinson Plantation Welcome Center, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. Oct. 1–March 31: Tue.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. April 1–Sept. 30: Tue.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m.; Sun., 1:30–4:30 p.m. 302-739-3277.

Panel from the “Five Stories” display
Panel from the “Five Stories” display

Ongoing
Letters From a Farmer in Pennsylvania.” Online exhibit explores the life of Founding Father John Dickinson on the 250th anniversary of the publication of his essays that described Colonial American grievances with the British government.

Ongoing
New Castle: Three Forts, One Community.” Exhibit examines the 17th-century struggle for control of New Castle by the Dutch, Swedes and English, and the strongholds that they built to maintain their power. New Castle Court House Museum, 211 Delaware St., New Castle. Tue.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Sun., 1:30 p.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-323-4453.

Ongoing
The Old State House: A True Restoration 1976-2016.” Display explores preservation work that has been conducted since Delaware’s first permanent capitol building in Dover was restored to its original appearance in 1976. From the collections of the State of Delaware. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Mon.–Sat., 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Sun., 1:30–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5054.

Senate chamber in The Old State House. Photo by Don Pearse Photographers.
Senate chamber in The Old State House. Photo by Don Pearse Photographers.

Ongoing
The Path to Freedom: A History of the Underground Railroad in Delaware.” Exhibit explores Delaware’s role in the clandestine network that transported American slaves to freedom including the true journey of the Hawkins family from bondage in Maryland, through Delaware, to freedom in Pennsylvania. Part II of the display explores some of the challenges faced by Black Delawareans after the Civil War, and showcases Delaware trailblazers who helped break racial and gender barriers. New Castle Court House Museum, 211 Delaware St., New Castle. Tue.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Sun., 1:30 p.m.–4:30 p.m. Free admission. 302-323-4453.

Ongoing
Sculpture by Charles Parks. Display of works by the noted Wilmington artist featuring historical and political figures including a Minute Man, and presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford and George W. Bush. New Castle Court House Museum, 211 Delaware St., New Castle. Tue.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Sun., 1:30 p.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-323-4453.

Ongoing
A Seaborne Citizenry: The DeBraak and Its Atlantic World.” Exhibit utilizes artifacts recovered from His Majesty’s Sloop of War DeBraak, a British warship that sank off the Delaware coast on May 25, 1798, to tell the story of the vessel, its crew and the historical context within which it operated in the Atlantic World of the late 18th century. Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. April 1–Oct. 31: Tue.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m.; Sun., 1:30–4:30 p.m. Nov. 1–March 31: Wed.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-645-1148.

Ongoing
Simple Machines.” Exhibit demonstrating the six “simple machines”—incline ramp, screw, wedge, pulley, lever and wheel—that constitute the elementary building blocks of which many more-complicated machines are composed. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. Oct. 1–March 31: Tue.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. April 1–Sept. 30: Tue.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m.; Sun., 1:30–4:30 p.m. 302-739-3277.

Ongoing
When Janie Comes Marching Home: Women’s Fight to Serve.” Display explores the participation of women in America’s armed conflicts from the Revolutionary War to the present, and their fight to be allowed to serve their country during wartime. Legislative Hall, 411 Legislative Ave., Dover. Limited visitation hours; call 302-739-9194 before planning a visit.

Administered by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, the five museums of the State of Delaware—the John Dickinson Plantation, the Johnson Victrola Museum, the New Castle Court House Museum, The Old State House and the Zwaanendael Museum—tell the story of the First State’s contributions to the history and culture of the United States. Through tours, exhibits, school programs and hands-on activities, the museums shine a spotlight on Delaware’s unique history and the diverse people who came to live there. The museums are accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. The New Castle Court House Museum and the John Dickinson Plantation are partner sites of the First State National Historical Park. The Old State House is located on the Dover Green, another partner site of the park. Go to the following for a comprehensive, long-term calendar of division-sponsored events.

The Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs is an agency of the State of Delaware. The division enhances Delaware’s quality of life by preserving the state’s unique historical heritage, fostering community stability and economic vitality and providing educational programs and assistance to the general public on Delaware history and heritage. The division’s diverse array of services includes operation of five museums which are accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, administration of the State Historic Preservation Office, conservation of the state’s archaeological and historic-objects collections, operation of a conference center and management of historic properties across the state. Primary funding for division programs and services is provided by annual appropriations from the Delaware General Assembly and grants from the National Park Service, Department of the Interior, a federal agency. However, the contents and opinions expressed in the division’s programs and services do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Department of the Interior.

Picture of the Logo of the American Alliance of Museums logo

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Contact:
Jim Yurasek
Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs
Phone: 302-739-7787
E-mail: Jim.Yurasek@delaware.gov
Web: http://history.delaware.gov


DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police kick off National Safe Boating Week May 18-24

Partnership announced to provide loaner life jackets to boaters

DOVER – With the 2019 summer season and ideal weather ahead, many boaters will soon be heading out on the water. DNREC’s Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Office of Boating Safety & Education encourages boaters to practice safe boating, not just during National Safe Boating Week from May 18-24 – but throughout the year.

Delaware, which consistently has one of the lowest boating accident rates in the country, had 36 reported boating accidents and two fatalities last year. This year, there have been two reported boating accidents to date and no related fatalities in the state.

Statistics support the vital role of wearing life jackets in keeping boaters safe. In 2017, the most recent year for which statistics are available, 76 percent of all boating-related fatalities nationwide were drowning victims, with 84.5 percent of those victims not wearing life jackets, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

To further promote boaters to wear life jackets, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police will be kicking off a Life Jacket Loaner Program in partnership with Sea Tow Foundation, starting May 20. As an alternative to ending someone’s voyage on Delaware waterways when found to not have the required life jackets, officers will have loaner life jackets in sizes from Infant to Adult XL onboard their patrol vessels for the public to borrow and return.

“We’re excited to partner with the Sea Tow Foundation to make this Life Jacket Loaner Program available to boaters in our area,” said Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Chief Drew Aydelotte. “This will help ensure that boaters of all ages have proper-fitting life jackets, which will go a long way toward keeping people safe while they’re out enjoying the beautiful waterways of Delaware.”

For more information, including Delaware’s boating safety course schedule and the online Delaware Boating Handbook, click Delaware Boating Safety, or contact Boating Safety & Education Coordinator Sgt. Brooke Mitchell at 302-739-9913 or email brooke.mitchell@delaware.gov.

Follow Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police on Facebook, www.facebook.com/pages/Delaware-Fish-Wildlife-Natural-Resources-Police.

Follow Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police on Twitter, https://twitter.com/DE_FW_NRPolice.

Media contact: Sgt. Brooke Mitchell, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police, 302-739-9913 or 302-382-7167, or Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902.

Vol. 49, No. 125

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DOJ seeks outside counsel, expertise for environmental investigation and possible legal action

Attorney General Kathy Jennings announced Friday that the Department of Justice is asking private law firms to submit competitive bids to be appointed as special counsel in connection with an investigation and possible court proceedings involving violations of environmental laws pertaining to hazardous substances, wastewater, and ground contamination.

“The people of this state are as entitled to environmental justice as they are to public safety, to civil rights, and to freedom from predatory business practices,” said Attorney General Jennings. “If we learn that Delaware’s environmental laws have been violated then we will seek action to hold accountable those who jeopardize our health and our communities.”

DOJ’s Request for Proposals contains detailed provisions to ensure fairness, competitiveness, and transparency and appropriate State control over any decision to initiate or resolve litigation.

The RFP states that “retention will include significant evaluative and investigative preparatory work and may require the retention of scientific experts in the field of geology, environmental engineering, hydrology, hydrogeology, clinical toxicology, or other related disciplines.”

The RFP requires that work is done on a contingency fee basis so that it does not involve the use of State funds. Bids are due on Friday, June 14.


DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Blotter: May 6-12

Reminder for the week: Paddle boards are vessels too – and boating regulations apply

DOVER – To achieve public compliance with laws and regulations through education and enforcement actions that help conserve Delaware’s fish and wildlife resources and ensure safe boating and public safety, DNREC’s Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers between May 6-12 made 2,183 contacts with anglers, boaters, hunters, and the general public, issuing 26 citations. Officers responded to 39 complaints regarding possible violations of laws and regulations or requests to assist the public. A Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police presence continued at the C&D Canal Conservation Area and Michael N. Castle Trail.

Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police in the Community

  • On May 11, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers discussed the role of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers, answered questions regarding hunting, fishing and boating, and displayed the Operation Game Theft trailer during the annual Casting with Cops event at Glasgow Park in Newark.

Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Actions

Citations issued by category, with the number of charges in parentheses, included:

Wildlife Conservation: Possession of unlawfully taken antlered deer (1).

Fisheries Conservation: Possession of undersized white perch (16), no Fisherman Information Network (FIN) number (1), unlicensed fishing (3)*, and possession of over-the-limit crab pots (1).

Boating & Boating Safety: Operating a vessel with insufficient number of life jackets (1).

Public Safety: Possession of marijuana – civil (2).

Other: Operating a motor vehicle off an established roadway on a state wildlife area (1)*.

*Includes citation(s) issued at the C&D Canal Conservation Area.

DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife recognizes and thanks the majority of anglers, boaters, and hunters who comply with and support Delaware’s fishing, hunting, and boating laws and regulations. Citizens are encouraged to report fish, boating, and wildlife violations to the Delaware Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police by calling 302-739-4580 or through the DENRP Tip app on a smartphone, which can be downloaded free of charge by searching “DENRP Tip” via the Google Play Store or the iTunes App Store. Wildlife violations may also be reported anonymously to Operation Game Theft by calling 800-292-3030, going online to http://de.gov/ogt, or using the DENRP Tip app. Verizon customers can connect to Operation Game Theft directly by dialing #OGT.

Are you AWARE?
Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police remind stand up paddle boarders to review Delaware’s boating laws and regulations and how they apply to paddle boards before heading out on the waterways. In recent years, the sport of stand up paddle boarding has grown in popularity, with stand up paddle boarders often seen on many of Delaware’s waterways throughout the summertime.

The United States Coast Guard and the state of Delaware recognize a paddle board as a vessel when it is operated outside the confines of a surfing or swimming area. Therefore, many of the same requirements for personal flotation devices, visual distress signals, sound producing devices, and the use of a navigational light between sunset and sunrise apply when paddle boards are operated in Delaware waters.

A paddle board must meet the following safety equipment requirements when operated in Delaware waters:

  • All paddle boarders must have a United States Coast Guard-approved life jacket on board.
  • Any child age 12 and younger must wear a USCG-approved life jacket at all times while on a paddle board.
  • Paddle boarders must carry a whistle or horn, or some other sounding device capable of making an efficient sound signal.
  • When operating between the hours of sunset and sunrise, paddle boarders must carry a visual distress signal – an electric distress light or flares – suitable for night use. This applies to all boards operated on coastal waters and directly-connected waters (bays, sounds, harbors, rivers, inlets, etc.) which are two miles wide or wider.
  • When operating between the hours of sunset and sunrise, a paddle boarder also must have an electric torch or lighted lantern showing a white light ready at hand for use as a navigation light, which must be exhibited in sufficient time to prevent collision.

For more information on safe boating practices in Delaware, including more details on life jackets and other safety equipment, please visit www.de.gov/boatsafety.

Follow Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/DEFWNRPolice/.

Follow Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police on Twitter, https://twitter.com/DE_FW_NRPolice.

Contact: Sgt. Brooke Mitchell, 302-382-7167, or Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police, 302-739-9913