October 27, 2020: COVID-19 Briefing

Governor John Carney will hold a press briefing at 1:45 p.m. in the auditorium of the Carvel State Office Building to answer questions from members of the press about Delaware’s response to coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

 

 


State of Delaware Announces Early Childhood Education Updates

Changes include new Associate Secretary for Early Learning Support, new grant funding, doubling of ECAP

WILMINGTON, Del.—Governor John Carney and the Delaware Department of Education on Monday announced a few notable early childhood education updates, ranging from governance updates to additional CARES Act funding to the state’s commitment to double Early Childhood Assistance Program (ECAP) funding.

The state is pleased to announce that Yvette Sanchez Fuentes has been hired as the first Associate Secretary for Early Childhood Support.  This position, created by reallocating existing roles, will oversee both the Office of Early Learning (OEL) and the Office of Child Care Licensing (OCCL), the latter of which recently moved to the department.  This effort to consolidate early childhood governance has been a priority of the administration’s and has been supported by numerous early childhood advocates and leaders.  Ms. Sanchez Fuentes served as the director for the Office of Head Start in the Obama Administration and served for two years as the President of the National Alliance for Hispanic Families.  She will start Nov. 9.

The state is also announcing the creation of the Child Care Remote Learning Grant to support licensed child care facilities that are supporting school-age students’ remote learning.  Licensed child care centers and homes are going above and beyond to help care for school-age children during remote learning, often times incurring additional costs to do so.  The state has set aside $1 million in federal CARES Act funds for the grants, which will range between $500 and $7,500 depending on the need of the child care provider.

This grant is in addition to the Enhanced Reimbursement Program Delaware created in April.  The Enhanced Reimbursement Program provides additional funding to hundreds of child care homes and centers each month. Through September, child care centers and homes received more than $75 million in Enhanced Reimbursement funding.  This funding helps keep staff paid, helps child care providers meet strict health guidance, and assists with increased operating costs child cares face due to the pandemic.

“Providers have stepped up to fill an important need for Delaware families, and this grant funding will help them with the additional costs they face to expand their operations to support school age students,” said Governor Carney.  “I’ve seen firsthand the challenge these child care providers are dealing with to support remote learning.  Our state is grateful for our remarkable early childhood workforce, and we are excited to offer these grants to support our providers who are serving school age children.”

The Child Care Remote Learning Grants can be used to pay or reimburse providers for specific expenditures they’ve made or are making necessary to assist remote learning for school age children.  Many child care providers are serving children from more than one district/charter, making their work doubly hard.  The application will be available on www.de.gov/coronavirus by the end of the week.

“The Delaware Institute for Excellence in Early Childhood at the University of Delaware is excited to partner with the state on this important initiative and to administer the grant,” said Rena Hallam, DIEEC director.  “These funds will help early childhood professionals support effective remote learning for school-age children in early care and education programs.”

Secretary of Education Susan Bunting noted that whether districts and charters opened for some in-person instruction or full remote learning, the need for a safe place for children to complete their remote learning is critical.

“These centers and homes are providing students a safe environment in which to engage in remote learning while their parents work in order to provide for their families,” said Secretary Bunting. “We appreciate how they have supported our students during this time and need to support their efforts.  Many child care providers have been working through this pandemic to provide care to children of essential personnel, and we are grateful for their contributions to our state and our children every single day.”

Finally, the state recently announced a settlement in the ongoing education funding lawsuit.  Among the provisions of the settlement, Delaware commits to doubling the funding dedicated to the Early Childhood Assistance Program (ECAP).  The ECAP program is Delaware’s state-funded pre-k for disadvantaged children.  Beginning in FY 2024, funding for ECAP will have a new floor of $12.2 million.

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Governor Carney, DPH, DEMA Announce Community COVID-19 Testing Sites

Agencies Encourage COVID-19 Testing

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney, the Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH), and the Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA), announced a substantial list of community testing sites this week. Testing locations include pop-up and Curative trailer sites.

“Testing for COVID-19 is the best way to track the spread of the virus and respond to potential outbreaks,” said Governor Carney. “Whether or not you have symptoms, we encourage you to get tested for COVID-19 at a site near you, and to continue to follow basic health precautions so we can slow the spread. Keep wearing your masks in public. Wash or sanitize your hands frequently. Keep your distance and avoid gatherings with those outside of your household. Stay home if you’re sick.”

DEMA has coordinated 15 community sites this week in addition to sites at Walgreens and at various hospitals and health care locations. Delawareans can view a full list of COVID-19 testing locations and reserve a spot at de.gov/gettested.

“Testing continues to be critical to us slowing the spread of COVID-19,” said Dr. Karyl Rattay, Director of the Delaware Division of Public Health. “We are grateful to our community partners for engaging in thoughtful conversations around the need for testing and providing feedback on the accessibility of locations.”

“Since May, we have tested over 300,000 people through community sites,” said A.J. Schall, Director of the Delaware Emergency Management Agency. “With the use of both pop-up and static sites, we continue to refine our testing plan. New trailers were recently added to ensure that there is convenient testing for those who need it, when they need it.”

Delawareans are encouraged to check the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services’ social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) for testing location updates due to inclement weather.

New Castle County Pop-Up Testing Locations

  • Monday, October 26 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.: Woodlawn Library (2020 W 9th Street, Wilmington, DE 19805)
  • Monday, October 26 from 2:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.: Thomas McKean High School (301 McKennans Church Road, Wilmington, DE 19808)
  • Tuesday, October 27 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.: Pulaski School (1300 Cedar Street, Wilmington, DE 19805)
  • Tuesday, October 27 from 2:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.: Frawley Stadium (801 Shipyard Drive, Wilmington, DE 19801)
  • Wednesday, October 28 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.: Warner Elementary (801 W. 18th Street, Wilmington, DE 19802)
  • Wednesday, October 28 from 2:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.: Brandywine High School (1400 Foulk Road, Wilmington, DE 19803)
  • Thursday, October 29 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.: Hudson SSC (501 Ogletown Road, Newark, DE 19711)
  • Friday, October 30 from 2:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.: Wilmington University Brandywine Campus (10 Beaver Valley Road, Wilmington, DE 19803)
  • Saturday, October 31 from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.: Claymont Elementary (3401 Green Street, Claymont, DE 19703)
  • Saturday, October 31 from 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.: People’s Settlement Association (408 East 8th Street, Wilmington, DE 19801)

Kent County Pop-Up Testing Locations

  • Monday, October 26 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.: Bethel AME Church (229 E Commerce Street, Smyrna, DE 19977)
  • Tuesday, October 27 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.: Mt. Enon Baptist Church (600 N Church Street, Milford, DE 19963)
  • Wednesday, October 28 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.: New Beginnings AME (99 Jackson Street, Frederica, DE 19946)
  • Thursday, October 29 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.: Woodbridge Early Childhood Education Center (400 Governors Ave, Greenwood, DE 19950)
  • Friday, October 30 from 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.: Harrington Casino (18500 S Dupont Hwy, Harrington, DE 19952)

Sussex County Pop-Up Testing Locations

  • Monday, October 26 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.: Selbyville Fire Company (30 N Main Street, Selbyville, DE 19975)
  • Tuesday, October 27 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.: Delmar Town Hall (12 E State Street, Delmar, MD 21875)
  • Wednesday, October 28 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.: Rehoboth City Hall (229 Rehoboth Avenue, Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971)
  • Thursday, October 29 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.: Delaware Technical Community College, Owens Campus (21179 College Drive, Georgetown, DE 19947)
  • Friday, October 30 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.: La Red (300 High Street, Seaford, DE 19973)

Anyone with a question about COVID-19, whether related to medical or social service needs, should call Delaware 2-1-1. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing can text their 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. 

Download COVID Alert DE in the App Store or Google Play

Report a business for COVID-19 non-compliance using this form.

DPH will continue to update the public as more information becomes available. For the latest on Delaware’s response, go to de.gov/coronavirus.

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Weekly COVID-19 Update – October 23, 2020: New Daily Cases, Hospitalizations Remain Elevated; Deaths Increase

DOVER (Oct. 23, 2020) – The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) is providing an update on the most recent statistics related to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Delaware, as of 6 p.m. Thursday, October 22, 2020.
A total of 23,687 positive cases of COVID-19 among Delaware residents have been reported to DPH since March 11, 2020, including 12,493 individuals who are considered recovered. The number of new daily cases each day this week has remained elevated with the seven-day average of 137.3, as of Thursday, Oct. 22.

The seven-day average for the percentage of persons who tested positive for COVID-19 increased from 5.5% as of Oct. 15, to 6.9% as of Thursday, Oct. 22. DPH recently began publishing both positivity rates – persons tested and total tests conducted – on its COVID-19 data portal. As of Tuesday Oct. 20, the seven-day average for the percentage of total tests that were positive was 3.1%, up from 2.6% as of Oct. 13. There is a two-day lag for presenting data related to percent of tests that are positive to account for the time delay between the date of the test and the date that DPH receives the test result.

In addition, 106 individuals are currently hospitalized due to COVID-19 in Delaware an increase of two from the total as of last Friday’s update. Twenty-five of the hospitalized persons are critically ill, down one from last week.
A total of 678 Delawareans have passed away due to complications from COVID-19. The state reported 16 additional deaths since last week’s update, including three as a result of a review of Vital Statistics records. The total number of individuals who have died from COVID-19 ranges in age from 21 to 104 years old. Of those who have died, 354 were female and 324 were male. A total of 339 individuals were from New Castle County, 120 were from Kent County, and 219 were from Sussex County.

To protect personal health information, DPH will not confirm specific information about any individual case, even if other persons or entities disclose it independently.

Additional Updates
Additional Walgreens Location Added to State’s Permanent COVID-19 Testing Sites: As part of its partnership with the State of Delaware to provide consistent access to free COVID-19 testing statewide, the Walgreens Pharmacy located at 3301 Lancaster Pike Wilmington, DE 19805 will offer COVID-19 testing starting today, Oct. 23. This testing site will operate in the store, by appointment from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday. To reserve an appointment, visit https://www.picktime.com/DECOVID19test. Limited on-site registration will be available on an as-needed basis.

This new site is in addition to eight drive-through testing sites operated by Walgreens, as well as 11 other permanent testing sites – five State Service Center sites and six Public Health clinics – available throughout the state. Pop-up testing sites continue to be offered each week as well. The full list of testing locations, hours, and registration options are available on Delaware’s COVID-19 website at de.gov/gettested.

CDC Releases MMWR on Use of COVID Mitigation Strategies During Delaware Primary Election: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report in today’s MMWR examining the use of strategies to prevent the spread of COVID-19 during Delaware’s statewide primary election: https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6943e2.htm?s_cid=mm6943e2_w. CDC collaborated with the Delaware Division of Public Health and Delaware State Election Commission on a survey of poll workers during the statewide primary election on September 15, 2020. This study evaluates the adoption of mitigation strategies by election officials, poll workers, and voters at polling locations as recommended in CDC’s Interim Guidance (‘Considerations for Election Polling Locations’). The study supports the feasibility of implementing current guidance and highlights gaps in implementation relevant to future elections, including the upcoming November general election. The survey found widespread adoption of most COVID-19 mitigation measures recommended for poll workers and voters, including wearing masks, frequent use of hand sanitizer, frequent sanitizing of high-touch surfaces and equipment, and staying at least 6 feet apart. Voters and election workers are encouraged to wear face masks that cover their noses and mouths, wash their hands frequently or use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, stay at least 6 feet apart from others, and wipe down frequently touched surfaces to prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.

Update on COVID-19 Outbreaks in Long-term Care Facilities: The Division of Public Health continues to investigate COVID-19 outbreaks in long-term care facilities throughout the state. Facilities where significant ongoing outbreaks are occurring, as of Oct. 22, 2020:
• Kentmere Rehabilitation and Health Care Center in Wilmington; 54 residents and 42 staff members
• Cadia Healthcare Silverside in Wilmington; 44 residents and 32 staff members
• Country Rest Home in Greenwood; 31 residents and 18 staff members
• Newly added: Regency Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in Wilmington; 38 residents and 15 staff

*Staff members may include health care and non-health care personnel, such as facility vendors or other individuals working in the long-term care facility who may not be full-time facility employees.

Delaware COVID-19 Data:
The latest Delaware COVID-19 case statistics* cumulatively since March 11, provided as of 6 p.m. Thursday, October 22, include:

• 23,687 total positive cases
• New Castle County cases: 12,491
• Kent County cases: 3,394
• Sussex County cases: 7,711
• Unknown County: 91
• Females: 12,787; Males: 10,861; Unknown Sex: 39
• Age range: 0 to 104
• Currently hospitalized: 106; Critically ill: 25 (This data represents individuals currently hospitalized in a Delaware hospital regardless of residence, and is not cumulative.)
• Delawareans recovered: 12,493
• 311,425 negative cases**
*Data are provisional and subject to change.
**Data on negative cases are preliminary, based on negative results reported to DPH by state and commercial laboratories performing analysis.

Generally, Delaware is now considering patients recovered after at least 24 hours have passed since the resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and/or improvement in symptoms, and at least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared. Individuals who tested positive who have not had any symptoms are considered recovered after at least 10 days have passed since the date of their first positive COVID-19 test with no subsequent illness.

Aggregate K-12 School-Related COVID-19 Statistics:
The Division of Public Health is providing statewide aggregate data on the total number of COVID-19 positive cases among students and staff who were in-person at a school or child care facility while potentially infectious, reported to DPH since Sept. 1, 2020. To determine the start of the infectious period, or when others may have been exposed to someone infectious, DPH looks 48 hours prior to the onset of symptoms or 48 hours prior to testing for those individuals who had no symptoms. These data only indicate potential exposure to COVID-19 in these settings, not whether exposure actually occurred.

Cumulative number of COVID-19 positive students and staff, statewide, who were in-person at a school or child care facility while potentially infectious, reported to DPH between Sept. 1, 2020, and Oct. 23, 2020:

• Child care – 27 students and 25 staff
• Private K-12 – 54 students and 26 staff
• Public K-12 – 24 students and 75 staff

Long-term Care Statistics:
Information related to positive cases and deaths among residents at long-term care facilities will be updated weekly each Friday, using information reported as of 6 p.m. Thursday. There have been a total of 1,457 positive COVID-19 cases cumulatively involving long-term care residents, and 395 residents of Delaware long-term care facilities have died from complications related to COVID-19.

The locations and number of deaths involving residents of long-term care facilities are:

• Atlantic Shores Rehabilitation and Health Center, Millsboro (17)
• Brackenville Center, Genesis Healthcare, Hockessin (18)
• Brandywine Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Wilmington (34)
• Brandywine Living at Seaside Pointe, Rehoboth Beach (2)
• Cadia Healthcare Broadmeadow, Middletown (11)
• Cadia Healthcare Capitol, Dover (14)
• Cadia Healthcare Renaissance, Millsboro (9)
• Cadia Healthcare North Wilmington/Silverside, Wilmington (13)
• Country Rest Home, Greenwood (6)
• Delaware Hospital for the Chronically Ill, Smyrna (11)
• Governor Bacon Health Center, Delaware City (1)
• HarborChase of Wilmington, Wilmington (4)
• Harbor Healthcare and Rehabilitation, Lewes (21)
• Harrison House Senior Living, Georgetown (41)
• Hillside Center, Wilmington (3)
• Kentmere Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center, Wilmington (5)
• Little Sisters of the Poor, Newark (11)
• ManorCare Health Services, Wilmington (13)
• ManorCare Health Services, Pike Creek (20)
• Methodist Country House, Wilmington (4)
• Millcroft, Newark (2)
• Milford Center, Genesis Healthcare, Milford (36)
• New Castle Health and Rehabilitation Center, New Castle (12)
• Newark Manor Nursing Home, Newark (11)
• Parkview Nursing and Rehabilitation, Wilmington (26)
• Pinnacle Rehabilitation and Health Center, Smyrna (24)
• Regal Heights Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, Hockessin (6)
• Summit Assisted Living, Hockessin (3)
• Sunrise Assisted Living, Wilmington (2)
• Westminster Village, Dover (7)
• Six other New Castle County long-term care facilities (1 death at each facility)
• Two other Sussex County long-term care facility (1 death at each facility)

Additional demographic data on COVID-19 cases and deaths, including race/ethnicity, more age-specific data and rates information by ZIP code, and information on Delaware’s contact tracing efforts can be found on the Division of Public Health’s My Healthy Community data portal at de.gov/healthycommunity.

If you are sick with any of the following symptoms, stay home: fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, muscle aches, fatigue, chills, shaking with chills, loss of smell or taste, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, or headache or congestion or runny nose without a known cause such as allergies. Other symptoms such as abdominal pain or lack of appetite have been identified as potential symptoms related to COVID-19 and may prompt further screening, action or investigation by a primary care provider. If you are sick and need essential supplies, ask someone else to go to the grocery store or the pharmacy to get what you need.

If you believe you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, or have symptoms of illness, make sure to distance yourself from others, particularly vulnerable populations. Older adults and people of any age with serious underlying medical conditions – including serious heart conditions, chronic lung conditions, including moderate to severe asthma, severe obesity and those who are immunocompromised, including through cancer treatment – may have a higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

Information about testing events, including community testing sites, permanent fixed testing sites, and free-standing sites operated by the health care systems and hospitals, will be listed on the testing section of the Delaware coronavirus website at: coronavirus.delaware.gov/testing/.

Individuals who have complaints about individuals violating public gathering restrictions should contact state or local law enforcement. Concerns that a business may be violating operating restrictions should be directed to: HSPContact@delaware.gov. Questions related to business re-openings or operations as businesses re-open should go to COVID19FAQ@delaware.gov.

Individuals with questions about COVID-19 should call Delaware 2-1-1, individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing can text their ZIP code to 898-211, or email info@delaware211.org. Hours of operation are 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Medically related questions regarding testing, symptoms, and health-related guidance can be submitted by email at DPHCall@delaware.gov. Questions regarding unemployment claims should be emailed to: UIClaims@delaware.gov.

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.

DPH will continue to update the public as more information becomes available. For the latest on Delaware’s response, go to de.gov/coronavirus.


COVID Alert DE Surpasses 50,000 Downloads of App

Exposure notification app is supplementing Delaware’s contact tracing efforts

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney, the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS), and the Delaware Department of Technology and Information (DTI) announced that COVID Alert DE has surpassed more than 50,000 downloads among Delawareans.

About 9 percent of people who have tested positive and were interviewed by members of Delaware’s Contact Tracing Team since the exposure notification app was launched on September 15 have said they downloaded the exposure notification app on their phone. Among their close contacts, 16 percent told contact tracers that they also had COVID Alert DE on their phones.

“COVID Alert DE is another tool to help slow the spread of the virus in our state,” said Governor Carney. “As more and more Delawareans download the app, we know that it is successfully supplementing our contract tracing efforts through anonymous and secure exposure alerts. That will help us keep our transmission rates low going forward – and make even more progress getting more children back to school, and more Delawareans back to work.”

Any Delawarean with the COVID Alert DE app will receive an anonymous exposure notification alert if they are identified as a close contact of a COVID-positive individual in Delaware or three other states. Delaware’s app is interoperable with COVID Alert PA in Pennsylvania, COVID Alert NJ in New Jersey and COVID Alert NY in New York. Users should download the application in the state where they are currently living and expect to be tested for COVID-19. The exposure notification apps are built on Bluetooth technology from Apple and Google.

COVID Alert DE is available in the App Store or Google Play.  

“I want to urge more Delawareans to download the COVID Alert DE app as a way to keep themselves and their loved ones safe, especially if you work in a front-line job or are living on a college campus,” said Molly Magarik, Secretary of the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS). “If you already have the app, I urge you to use the symptom tracker every morning, especially with flu season expected to intermingle with COVID-19 during the fall and winter.”

The app is not a substitute for basic public health precautionary measures – including mask-wearing, social distancing in public, avoiding crowds and frequent handwashing. Additionally, those who have the app are still asked to speak with contact tracers from the Division of Public Health if contacted.

Download the app:

Apple Store

Google Play

Visit de.gov/covidalert for additional information about COVID Alert DE, or send questions to DPHCall@delaware.gov. 

Are you a business, nonprofit, or organization interested in COVID Alert DE? Email questions about partnership opportunities to DHSS_TownHall@delaware.gov.  

Anyone with a question about COVID-19, whether related to medical or social service needs, should call Delaware 2-1-1. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing can text their 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. 

Questions can also be submitted by email at DPHCall@delaware.gov.

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