Potassium Iodide Distribution Event in Middletown on October 13

For Delaware residents who live or work within 10 miles of Salem/Hope Creek Nuclear Generating Stations

Delaware EPZ
Delaware’s ten-mile Emergency Planning Zone near the Salem/Hope Creek Stations

 

SMYRNA, Del. — The Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA) and Delaware Division of Public Health will distribute potassium iodide (KI) tablets to Delaware residents living within a ten-mile radius (also known as the Emergency Planning Zone or EPZ) of the Salem/Hope Creek Nuclear Generating Stations.

The free tablets will be distributed on Thursday, October 13, 2022 between 12 noon and 7 p.m. at the Middletown Fire Hall, 27 W. Green Street, Middletown, Delaware.

KI is available to residents who have received it previously and whose tablets have reached their expiration date, as well as those who never received tablets before. Individuals with home or business addresses within the EPZ are eligible to receive the KI tablets. Recipients must bring a photo ID such as a driver’s license, proof of residency such as a utility bill, or proof of employment within the EPZ when they go to the Middletown Fire Hall; such proof is all that is required in order to receive KI tablets. Residents who have KI that is expired can bring those tablets to the distribution center to exchange for new ones.

KI does not protect against external radiation but can help protect the thyroid gland from ingested or inhaled radioactive iodine that might be released in a radiation emergency. KI is one of the protective measures outlined in Delaware’s emergency plans developed for use in a nuclear incident. The State of Delaware receives the tablets through a program initiated by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

 

 

Potassium Iodide tablets
PHOTO: Potassium iodide (KI) tablets do not protect against external radiation but can help protect the thyroid gland from ingested or inhaled radioactive iodine that might be released in a radiation emergency. KI is one of the protective measures outlined in Delaware’s emergency plans developed for use in a nuclear incident.

 

Delaware residents living outside of the 10-mile EPZ who would like to obtain KI tablets should contact their pharmacist. KI is also available over-the-counter at some local pharmacies.

For additional information regarding the potassium iodide distribution program in Delaware, call the Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA) Radiological Emergency Preparedness (REP) section at 302-659-3362. More information and resources can be found at PrepareDE.org

Social Media: Delaware Emergency Management Agency on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram

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Governor Carney, First Lady Tracey Quillen Carney, Delaware Department of Education Launch School Registration System

System will streamline and unify the Kindergarten, school registration process statewide

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor Carney, First Lady Tracey Quillen Carney, and the Delaware Department of Education on Monday and Tuesday launched the new school registration system, authorized by Senate Bill 82.

The new registration system makes critical updates suggested by families and school districts. This includes providing 24/7 access to forms, ensuring that all families have access to register their child or children for school, providing forms in English and Spanish, and sets-up a common data system that enables sharing across districts when families move.

“There is nothing more important than ensuring all Delawareans can read at grade level by third grade,” said Governor Carney. “This registration system will help families across the state enroll in Delaware schools. Thanks to my wife Tracey for her advocacy around Kindergarten Registration with critical leadership from the Delaware Readiness Teams, and thanks to our Department of Education for creating this resource.”

First Lady Tracey Quillen Carney traveled to the Seaford District Library, the Harrington Public Library, and the Wilmington Public Library to demonstrate the new registration process. Guests at the events were invited to participate in a Kindergarten Academy activity. The opportunity to participate in Kindergarten Academy school-readiness programs is one of several benefits of registering children for school in November, during Kindergarten Registration Month.

“I’ve been the honorary chair of the Kindergarten Registration Campaign for the past six years for two reasons,” said First Lady Tracey Quillen Carney. “One, it makes sense for everyone — the families, the schools, and, most important, the students. And two, 25 years ago, I flunked kindergarten registration — I couldn’t figure out our system here in Delaware. The new universal, online system is so much more family-friendly; it’s more equitable; and it’s more likely to get kids signed up early, which helps the students, families, and schools prepare more effectively for the coming year.”

“Registering your child in school for the first time can be an overwhelming process for families,” said Secretary of Education Dr. Mark Holodick. “We’re excited this site will make it easier by providing a consistent statewide process. We also hope it will remove barriers some may have, such as transportation and/or getting to a school office during a week day.”

“The Delaware Readiness Teams are committed to supporting families through the registration process,” said Delaware Readiness Teams Program Manager Diane Frentzel. “We have created Kindergarten Registration Information Packets to support families as they register for school. Packets are available at all libraries throughout the state. Transitioning into Kindergarten is a big milestone for children and their families. This universal registration system will make the registration process easier so we can focus on connecting families to resources that will prepare children for the transition.”

To view the Registration Event at the Wilmington Public Library, visit the Governor’s website.

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DPH Announces First Flu Case Of The 2022-2023 Season

*Editor/Reporter note:  Apologies to everyone for the confusion but we were just informed that the pediatric case was mistakenly listed as occurring in this flu season due to a data entry error, when instead it occurred prior to October and is included in last season’s total.  The release has been updated below to show the accurate count for this season to date. 

DOVER, DE (Oct. 5, 2022) – The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) is announcing the state’s first laboratory-confirmed case of influenza for the 2022-2023 flu season. The first case involves a 32-year-old Kent County woman, with influenza strain A, who was vaccinated.

 

“Announcing our first case of the flu, just days after the start of the season, is a strong indicator for Delawareans to get their flu vaccines as soon as possible,” said Interim DPH Director Dr. Rick Hong. “The flu is a threat to our health, and getting the vaccine is the best way to protect yourself from either getting it, or at the very least reducing the severity of symptoms and illness if you do get it.”

 

The flu vaccine is recommended for Delawareans 6 months of age and older and can be administered at the same time as the COVID-19 vaccine. Since it takes approximately two weeks after vaccination for antibodies that protect against influenza virus infection to develop in the body, it is important to get vaccinated as early as possible to give your body time to build immunity. Getting the flu vaccine now will also provide protection during the entire flu season. The vaccine can help prevent the flu and can safeguard against serious effects such as hospitalization or death if a person who does receive the vaccine catches the flu.

 

During the 2021-2022 flu season, Delaware recorded more than 2,700 laboratory-confirmed flu cases. More than 150 Delawareans were hospitalized due to the flu and three people died from flu complications.

 

A schedule for flu vaccines at Public Health clinics for uninsured and underinsured individuals can be found at: https://coronavirus.delaware.gov/fight-the-flu/flu-vaccine-finder. While DPH no longer holds mass community flu clinics, it is offering flu vaccines at community-based locations where the DPH mobile units also provide additional health services. Flu vaccines also are offered through physician offices, many pharmacies (including those within grocery stores) and Federally Qualified Health Centers.

 

To locate where flu vaccines near you are being offered, Google “CDC flu finder” and enter your ZIP code. The flu is easy to transmit, and you can get it even from seemingly healthy, but unvaccinated, children and adults. Children, older adults, and those who have chronic underlying medical conditions are most at risk for complications from the flu and are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated now.

In addition to getting an annual flu shot, Delawareans can prevent the spread of the flu the same way they can prevent COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses:

  • wash hands frequently with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand sanitizers
  • cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue
  • maintain 6 feet of space between others, especially those who reside outside of your own home
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth

 

The flu and COVID-19 have many similar symptoms. They include fever or feeling feverish/chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue (tiredness), sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle pain or body aches, and headaches. Other signs and symptoms of COVID-19 that are different from flu include a change in or loss of taste or smell. If you are sick, the best thing to do is call your health care provider to see if you should get tested for COVID-19 or come in for a visit.

 

Those sick with the flu should stay home from work, school and other gatherings and not return until they have been free of fever – with a temperature of less than 100 degrees F (37.8 degrees C), without the use of fever-reducing medications – for at least 24 hours. People with flu symptoms should avoid close contact with well people in the household; you can give someone the flu 24 hours before you show symptoms and five to seven days after you get sick. Stay well-hydrated by drinking plenty of water and other clear liquids. Over-the-counter medicines can provide symptom relief, but if you suspect you have influenza, call your doctor as they may decide to provide antiviral medications to help hasten recovery and prevent serious complications. This is particularly important for those who feel very sick, are pregnant or have chronic medical conditions.

 

For more information about the flu and where to get vaccinated, visit flu.delaware.gov or call 1-800-282-8672.

 

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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 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.


The Mezzanine Gallery to Exhibit “Polymer Paintings” by Joseph Barbaccia

On view from October 7-28, 2022

Wilmington, Del. (October 3, 2022) – The Delaware Division of the Arts’ Mezzanine Gallery presents 2022 DDOA Individual Artist Fellow Joseph Barbaccia’s exhibition, Polymer Paintings, running October 7-28, 2022. Guests are invited to attend a Meet-the-Artist Reception on Friday, October 7, from 5:00-7:00 p.m.

All his life, Joseph Barbaccia has been inspired by color and form. He was drawn to their motivating force even before his artistic inclinations and aspirations were clear to him. There were no artists among his extended family or their friends, but “at church on Sundays, I remember always wanting to sit in a pew the had a stained-glass window at the end in order to enjoy the colors close up,” as he studied the statues and the bas-reliefs on the walls.

Barbaccia was born in Philadelphia, but when he was a toddler, the family moved to rural New Jersey. He began drawing in earnest when he was six, at first to capture the attention of his second-grade teacher, whom he admired. But soon his family began to take notice. “Since then, except for six months in 1979 when I took a motorcycle trip [out west], I never stopped making images.” After taking classes at Philadelphia’s Tyler School of Fine Arts, Barbaccia traveled through the United States and the South Pacific, drawing and painting in a “mostly representational style.” In 1996 he settled in Potomac Falls, Virginia, where over the next two decades his experiments with encaustics, freestanding sculpture, and mixed media gained increasing attention and recognition.

The prolific artist has exhibited widely – over 35 group shows and 10 solo exhibitions – in galleries and major venues throughout the East Coast and the mid-Atlantic, including the Greater Reston Art Center, Delaware Contemporary, Rehoboth Art League, and Washington’s Corcoran Gallery. He’s been the subject of dozens of articles and reviews, both as an artist and as an illustrator with three published children’s picture books (and a fourth underway).

Barbaccia had always had a large studio, but in 2018 he and his wife (also an artist) moved to Georgetown, Delaware, where his workspace was smaller. Realizing “I would have to change my materials and methods to accommodate the new reality,” he landed on polymer clay as “the perfect choice.” The material – with its transparency and a full color spectrum – allows him to create in both two and three dimensions. It led Barbaccia in a new direction. “Approximately 90% of the artists creating with polymer clay create jewelry. I thought the time was right to expand its visual range.”

As well as inspiring Barbaccia, working with polymer clay has challenges. Using atypical art materials, “I sometimes come up against limiting parameters in applications to shows or competitions . . . [including] a list of accepted materials that doesn’t include polymer clay.” And the pandemic has led to a scarcity of his chosen material. But he continues to push against these and other constraints and revels in “showing and sharing my work.”

The Mezzanine Gallery, open weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., is located on the second floor of the Carvel State Office Building, 820 N. French Street, Wilmington.

Image: “Avatar,” 2021, polymer clay, 20 x 14 x .1 inches

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Contact: Andrew Truscott, Program Officer, Marketing and Communications

302-577-8280, andrew.truscott@delaware.gov

The Delaware Division of the Arts, a branch of the Delaware Department of State, is dedicated to cultivating and supporting the arts to enhance the quality of life for all Delawareans. Together with its advisory body, the Delaware State Arts Council, the Division administers grants and programs that support arts programming, educate the public, increase awareness of the arts, and integrate the arts into all facets of Delaware life. For more information about the Delaware Division of the Arts, visit arts.delaware.gov or call 302-577-8278.


DPH Announces Start Of Flu Season: Encourages Vaccination In Face Of Potentially Active Flu Season

DOVER, DE (Sept. 29, 2022) – October 2 marks the official start of the 2022-2023 influenza (flu) season. The flu vaccine plays a pivotal role in helping to avoid significant flu-related illnesses, including hospitalization and death. The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) believes it is vital for Delawareans to protect themselves and their loved ones by getting the flu vaccine as soon as possible, particularly given the ongoing battle against COVID-19 and a potentially active flu season ahead. The U.S. often looks to the experience of Australia and New Zealand in the Southern Hemisphere during their flu season in the summer as a possible signal of what we might face. This year, the countries had a particularly active flu season.

Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine each year. Children younger than 5, older adults, pregnant women, and those with chronic underlying medical conditions are most at risk for complications from the flu and are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated now. DPH also urges vaccination for those who live or work with infants under 6 months of age and those who live or work in congregant settings such as long-term care and correctional facilities. DPH wants the public to know that the flu vaccine can be administered at the same time as the COVID-19 vaccine, which includes the new bivalent booster.

DPH is expanding its data collection and presentation capabilities this year.  For the first time, in a pilot of approximately 20 Influenza-Like Illness Network (ILI Net) Providers statewide, DPH will collect and report the results of rapid flu test results. In the past, DPH has reported only laboratory-confirmed cases, thereby limiting the picture of the actual incidence of flu in Delaware for a given flu season. Since DPH is increasing the amount of data it collects and shares, comparing the data with that of past years should be done cautiously. In addition to collecting rapid flu test results, DPH will begin collecting information on other respiratory viruses such as respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) to get an expanded view of the respiratory viruses circulating during the influenza season.  Later in October, DPH will make flu data available on the My Healthy Community data portal, much like it does for COVID-19.  Data will still be updated weekly as in the past, but information related to flu vaccination rates in the state will be provided for the first time. 

“The flu remains a serious health threat and we are already seeing influenza starting to circulate in advance of the official start of the season next week,” said Interim DPH Director Dr. Rick Hong. “The flu is contagious and has the ability to cause serious illness and even death. The vaccine is your best shot at reducing your risk of ending up in the hospital or worse. Despite recent decreases in COVID-19 cases, hospitals are still under strain, and Delawareans should continue to take steps to prevent emergency hospital visits, including getting the annual flu vaccine.” 

Since it takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies against influenza virus infection to develop in the body, it is crucial to get vaccinated as early as possible to give your body time to build immunity. Getting the flu vaccine now will also protect people during the entire flu season. Find information about the flu and where to get it at flu.delaware.gov.

Flu vaccines are available at pharmacies (including in grocery stores), participating medical provider offices, Federally Qualified Health Centers (for their patients), and Division of Public Health clinics. While DPH no longer holds mass community flu clinics, it is offering flu vaccines at community-based locations where the DPH mobile units also provide additional health services. 

Flu symptoms come on suddenly and include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headaches, body aches, chills, and fatigue. Some signs and symptoms of flu and COVID-19 are similar, including fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, runny or stuffy nose, headaches, and body aches, chills, and fatigue. Testing can effectively help you determine which illness you have. Children, older adults, and those with chronic underlying medical conditions are most at risk for complications from the flu and are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated now. 

Those sick with the flu should stay home from work, school, and other gatherings and not return until they have been free of fever – with a temperature less than 100 degrees F (37.8 degrees C), without the use of fever-reducing medications – for at least 24 hours. 

In addition, people with flu symptoms should avoid close contact with people in the household and stay well-hydrated by drinking plenty of water and other clear liquids. Over-the-counter medicines can provide symptom relief, but if you suspect you have influenza, call your doctor as they may decide to provide antiviral medications to help hasten recovery and prevent serious complications. Contacting your primary care provider is particularly important for those who feel very sick, are pregnant, or have chronic medical conditions. 

DPH will again share flu-related messaging through radio, print, and social media messaging and distribute a toolkit to schools, community-based organizations, and medical providers to help encourage flu vaccination through their networks.   

For more information about the flu and where to get vaccinated, visit flu.delaware.gov or call 1-800-282-8672

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The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH), a division of the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services, is a nationally accredited public health agency recognized by the Public Health Accreditation Board for its outstanding dedication to driving change through innovation. DPH 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. 

Anyone who is deaf, hard of hearing, Deaf-Blind, or speech-disabled can contact DPH by first dialing 711 using specialized devices (i.e., TTY, TeleBraille, voice devices). The 711 service is free; to learn more about how it works, visit delawarerelay.com.