Weekly COVID-19 Update – Sept 17, 2021: Hospitalizations and Case Numbers Continue Concerning Trend Upward

DOVER (SEPTEMBER 17, 2021) – 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, September 16, 2021.

A total of 127,222 positive cases of COVID-19 among Delaware residents have been reported to DPH since March 11, 2020. The seven-day average of new positive cases increased to 472 as of Thursday, September 16, 2021.

As of Tuesday, September 14, the seven-day average for the percentage of total tests that were positive was 8.4%, a decrease from 8.7% as of Tuesday, September 7. 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, 259 individuals are currently hospitalized due to COVID-19 in Delaware, an increase of seven from last week. Forty-two of the hospitalized persons are critically ill, an increase of four from last week.

A total of 1,913 Delawareans have died due to complications from COVID-19. Thirteen deaths were reported in the past week, five of which were from a review of vital statistics. The total number of individuals who have died from COVID-19 range in age from younger than 5 to 104 years old.

FDA Advisory Committee Votes to Recommend Booster Doses for Certain Populations: 

Today, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) vaccine advisory committee met to discuss authorizing booster doses of the COVID-19 vaccine for the general public. The committee voted unanimously to recommend expanding the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to allow booster doses of the Pfizer BioNTech mRNA vaccine for individuals age 65 and older, and individuals at high risk of severe COVID-19 starting six months or more after they received their second dose. Also included in the recommended EUA expansion are health care workers and others at high risk for occupational exposure. This announcement does not apply to individuals who received the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines initially, due to limited available data to support an expansion of the use of those vaccines. As in the past, the FDA is expected to formalize and quickly sign off on the committee’s recommendation.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) still needs to meet to provide final recommendations on specific criteria such as what constitutes high risk of severe COVID-19.  ACIP is scheduled to meet on Wednesday, September 22.  The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) will await those findings before moving forward with the Pfizer boosters for qualifying individuals.

“We are encouraged by this news and optimistic that a booster dose will increase protection for many Delawareans from severe COVID-19,” said DPH Director, Dr. Karyl Rattay. “We know the Delta variant is particularly contagious and vaccination is really our best chance at protecting ourselves. We look forward to ACIP’s recommendations.”

Once approved by ACIP, vaccine providers and the public will receive further information from DPH about who should receive a booster most immediately.  Qualifying individuals who previously received two doses of Pfizer, will be able to get a booster dose at a variety of sites, including participating medical provider, pharmacy, or DPH Standing Vaccine clinic at the Blue Hen Corporate Center, Georgetown Plaza, Canby Park in Wilmington or University Plaza in Newark.

As a reminder, Delawareans who have certain immunocompromising conditions including those who have received organ or stem cell transplants, are undergoing treatment for HIV or cancer, or who are taking medication that suppresses the immune system, are currently eligible to receive a third dose of either Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, if they completed their second dose at least 28 days prior. DPH is also encouraging providers to consider whether those who reside in long-term care facilities and seniors, especially those who are over age 85, should receive a third dose at this time.

If you have not yet been vaccinated and are eligible, know that vaccines are the best protection we have against COVID-19 and circulating variants. The science is clear that the vaccines are extremely safe and effective and Delawareans who are fully vaccinated have significant protection from COVID-19 infection and serious illness. All qualifying Delawareans should get vaccinated. For the latest information on the COVID-19 vaccine and the vaccination rollout in Delaware, visit de.gov/getmyvaccine.

COVID-19 Vaccinations: 

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 77.4% of Delawareans ages 18+ have received at least one dose of the vaccine. As of 12:01 a.m. September 17, 2021, a total of 1,146,696 administered doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been reported to the state’s immunization information system, DelVAX. Among Delawareans 12+, 568,719 have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and 512,701 Delawareans are fully vaccinated. Delaware’s latest COVID-19 vaccination statistics can be found under the Vaccine Tracker dashboard at de.gov/healthycommunity.

COVID-19 Case Vaccination Status Report: 

The following report captures a weekly breakdown of vaccination status for cases, deaths, and hospitalizations for the time frame for September 6 – September 12. The report highlights the significant percentage of cases and hospitalized individuals in Delaware who are unvaccinated, or only partially vaccinated. Vaccination continues to be the most important factor in reducing deaths and hospitalizations from COVID-19.

Weekly Overview
(9/6 -9/12)

Unvaccinated Cases

Total Unvaccinated / Partially Vaccinated Cases

2421

Total Cases

3192

Percent of Unvaccinated / Partially Vaccinated Cases

76%

Hospitalizations

Unvaccinated / Partially Vaccinated Hospitalized  Cases

103

Total Hospitalized Cases

132

Percent of Unvaccinated / Partially Vaccinated Hospitalized  Cases

78%

Deaths

Unvaccinated / Partially Vaccinated COVID-19 Deaths

2

Total COVID-19 Deaths

4

Percent of Unvaccinated / Partially Vaccinated COVID-19 Deaths

50%

Breakthrough Cases: 

To date, 512,701 Delawareans have been fully vaccinated. Of those, there have been 2,900 breakthrough cases of COVID-19, occurring in approximately six-tenths of 1 percent of vaccinated individuals. Fifty-three of the reported breakthrough cases identified since vaccinations began involved hospitalizations and 31 individuals passed away, although it does not mean COVID-19 was the cause of death. Breakthrough cases continue to be extremely rare given the total number of persons who are fully vaccinated, and the science is clear, the best way to prevent serious illness from COVID-19 is to get vaccinated.

A breakthrough case is defined as testing positive for COVID-19 after an individual has been fully vaccinated for two weeks or more – although it does not mean that the infection actually occurred after vaccination.

Update on COVID-19 Variant Cases in Delaware:

As of Friday, September 17, the Division of Public Health has identified the following COVID-19 variants in Delaware through routine surveillance of test specimens. These variants are based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) list of Variants of Concern and Variants of Interest. The below table represents cumulative totals.

Variants of Concern
Variant Origin # of cases
Alpha/B.1.1.7 United Kingdom 1008
Beta/B.1.351 South Africa 1
Gamma/P.1 Brazil 64
Delta/B.1.617.2 India 797

 

Variants of Interest
Variant Origin # of cases
Eta/B.1.525 UK/Nigeria (formerly New York, US) 2
Iota/B.1.526/B.1526.1 New York, US 352

Of the test samples that were sequenced in the last week, 170 (73.9%) of the 230 test samples sequenced at the DPH Lab were positive for a variant strain, as were 74 additional specimens sequenced at an outside lab. All but one of the 244 variant positive samples this week were identified as the Delta variant strain. The Delaware Public Health Laboratory has sequenced 4,505 specimens for COVID-19 variant strains to date.

Virus mutation is common. Sequencing for variants is a complex process and is not used for diagnosing COVID-19 but is used after a positive case of COVID-19 has been identified for surveillance purposes, or in identifying the presence of a variant strain in the community.Because these variants may spread more easily, it is even more important that unvaccinated individuals who are more susceptible to getting COVID-19 continue taking the necessary ladders to avoid spreading the virus – wearing a mask, washing your hands, and being cautious when attending large gatherings.

For more information regarding CDC variant classifications, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/variant-surveillance/variant-info.html.

DPH COVID Vaccine Mobile Units:

DPH officials in partnership with medical staff from the Delaware National Guard (DNG) have launched mobile units to offer COVID-19 vaccines in underserved communities. Medically trained DNG staff are offering the Pfizer vaccine (for ages 12+) and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine (for persons 18+). These mobile units are visiting communities with low vaccination rates in an effort to eliminate potential barriers to access. The mobile units, which utilize trailers to transport the vaccine and provide vaccinations, are scheduled to visit these communities in New Castle, Kent and Sussex counties next week. COVID-19 testing will be available at each location.

Monday, September 20

Bethel Villa, 499 Lombard Street, Wilmington, 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Tuesday, September 21

Kohl’s, 299 North Dupont Highway, Dover, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Lowe’s, 1450 North Dupont Highway, Dover, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Wednesday, September 22

Wilmington Farmers Market, 1000 N. Market St., Wilmington, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Williams State Service Center, 805 River Road, Dover, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Williams State Service Center, 805 River Road, Dover, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Adams Four Shopping Center, Wilmington, 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Thursday, September 23

Dollar General, 701 North Porter Street, Seaford, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Bethel Market, 7743 Main Street, Bethel, 1:00 p.m.  3:00 p.m.

Friday, September 24

Brandywine Village, 99 East 19th Street, Wilmington, 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

*dates may be rescheduled if there is inclement weather

For a full list of community-based events statewide including those organized by vaccinating partners and community groups at de.gov/getmyvaccine.

Long-term Care Statistics: 

As of 6:00 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 16, there have been a total of 2,884 positive COVID-19 cases involving long-term care residents, and 840 residents of Delaware long-term care facilities have died from complications related to COVID-19.

Symptoms and Testing:

It’s especially important for unvaccinated persons to be aware of and self-monitor for the symptoms of COVID-19. DPH recommends that unvaccinated people get tested once a week.Even fully vaccinated persons should get tested if they develop symptoms or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19.

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.

Individuals with general 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 delaware211@uwde.org. Hours of operation are:

Monday – Friday: 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Saturday: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Medically related questions regarding testing, symptoms, and health-related guidance can be submitted by email at DPHCall@delaware.gov.

Delawareans 18 or older are encouraged to download COVID Alert DE, Delaware’s free exposure notification app to help protect your neighbors while ensuring your privacy. Download on the App Store or Google Play

Questions related to business re-openings or operations as businesses re-open should go to COVID19FAQ@delaware.gov. Questions regarding unemployment claims should be emailed to: UIClaims@delaware.gov.

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

 


Weekly COVID-19 Update – Sept 10, 2021: Daily COVID-19 Cases Hits Highest Number Since January

DOVER (SEPTEMBER 10, 2021) – 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, September 9, 2021.

A total of 123,958 positive cases of COVID-19 among Delaware residents have been reported to DPH since March 11, 2020. The seven-day average of new positive cases decreased to 389 as of Thursday, September 9, 2021. Delaware reported 665 new COVID-19 cases today, the highest number since January.

As of Tuesday, September 7, the seven-day average for the percentage of total tests that were positive was 8.6%, an increase from 7.4% of Tuesday, August 31. 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, 252 individuals are currently hospitalized due to COVID-19 in Delaware, an increase of 19 from last week. Thirty-eight of the hospitalized persons are critically ill, a decrease of 10 from last week.

A total of 1,900 Delawareans have died due to complications from COVID-19. Twelve deaths were reported in the past week, six of which were from a review of vital statistics. The total number of individuals who have died from COVID-19 range in age from younger than 5 to 104 years old.

DelVAX Public Access Portal:

Delawareans can now access their immunization record through the DelVAX Public Access Portal. Parents and legal guardians can print official immunization records for their child/children (ages 0 through 17 years), and adults (ages 18 years and over) can print an official immunization record for themselves. For information and link for the DelVAX Public Access Portal: https://www.dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dph/ipp/portalflyer.pdf. DelVAX is the official record for a person’s vaccination data. Individuals who need assistance can call 1-800-282-8672, or email DelVAX@delaware.gov.

COVID-19 Vaccinations: 

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 76.8% of Delawareans ages 18+ have received at least one dose of the vaccine. As of 12:01 a.m. September 10, 2021, a total of 1,133,779 administered doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been reported to the state’s immunization information system, DelVAX. Among Delawareans 12+, 563,547 have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and 505,790 Delawareans are fully vaccinated. Delaware’s latest COVID-19 vaccination statistics can be found under the Vaccine Tracker dashboard at de.gov/healthycommunity.

Vaccines are the best protection we have against COVID-19 and circulating variants. For the latest information on the COVID-19 vaccine and the vaccination rollout in Delaware, visit de.gov/covidvaccine.

COVID-19 Case Vaccination Status Report: 

The following report captures a weekly breakdown of vaccination status for cases, deaths, and hospitalizations for the time frame for August 30 – September 5. The report highlights the significant percentage of cases and hospitalized individuals in Delaware who are unvaccinated, or only partially vaccinated. Vaccination continues to be the most important factor in reducing deaths and hospitalizations from COVID-19.

Weekly Overview
(8/30 -9/5)

Unvaccinated Cases

Total Unvaccinated / Partially Vaccinated Cases

2369

Total Cases

2713

Percent of Unvaccinated / Partially Vaccinated Cases

87%

Hospitalizations

Unvaccinated / Partially Vaccinated Hospitalized  Cases

120

Total Hospitalized Cases

133

Percent of Unvaccinated / Partially Vaccinated Hospitalized  Cases

90%

Deaths

Unvaccinated / Partially Vaccinated COVID-19 Deaths

3

Total COVID-19 Deaths

6

Percent of Unvaccinated / Partially Vaccinated COVID-19 Deaths

50%

Breakthrough Cases: 

To date, 505,790 Delawareans have been fully vaccinated. Of those, there have been 2,307 breakthrough cases of COVID-19, occurring in approximately five-tenths of 1 percent of vaccinated individuals. Fifty of the reported breakthrough cases identified since vaccinations began involved hospitalizations and 25 individuals passed away, although it does not mean COVID-19 was the cause of death. Breakthrough cases continue to be extremely rare given the total number of persons who are fully vaccinated, and the science is clear, the best way to prevent serious illness from COVID-19 is to get vaccinated.

A breakthrough case is defined as testing positive for COVID-19 after an individual has been fully vaccinated for two weeks or more – although it does not mean that the infection actually occurred after vaccination.

Update on COVID-19 Variant Cases in Delaware:

As of Friday, September 10, the Division of Public Health has identified the following COVID-19 variants in Delaware through routine surveillance of test specimens. These variants are based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) list of Variants of Concern and Variants of Interest. The below table represents cumulative totals.

Variants of Concern
Variant Origin # of cases
Alpha/B.1.1.7 United Kingdom 1007
Beta/B.1.351 South Africa 1
Gamma/P.1 Brazil 63
Delta/B.1.617.2 India 554

 

 

 

Variants of Interest
Variant Origin # of cases
Eta/B.1.525 UK/Nigeria (formerly New York, US) 2
Iota/B.1.526/B.1526.1 New York, US 352

Of the test samples that were sequenced in the last week, 121 (72.9%) of the 166 test samples sequenced at the DPH Lab were positive for a variant strain, as were 27 additional specimens sequenced at an outside lab, which were positive for a variant strain. Ninety-three percent of the 148 variant positive samples this week were identified as the Delta variant strain. The Delaware Public Health Laboratory has sequenced 4,275 specimens for COVID-19 variant strains to date.

DPH is carefully tracking the Mu variant, technically known as B.1.621, which is not currently on the CDC list for variant of interest or concern. To date, Delaware has detected 18 cases of the Mu variant.

Virus mutation is common. Sequencing for variants is a complex process and is not used for diagnosing COVID-19 but is used after a positive case of COVID-19 has been identified for surveillance purposes, or in identifying the presence of a variant strain in the community.Because these variants may spread more easily, it is even more important that unvaccinated individuals who are more susceptible to getting COVID-19 continue taking the necessary steps to avoid spreading the virus – wearing a mask, washing your hands, and being cautious when attending large gatherings.

The science is clear that the vaccines are extremely safe and effective even against variants – and Delawareans who are fully vaccinated have significant protection from COVID-19 infection and serious illness. All qualifying Delawareans should get vaccinated – de.gov/getmyvaccine.

For more information regarding CDC variant classifications, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/variant-surveillance/variant-info.html.

DPH COVID Vaccine Mobile Units:

DPH officials in partnership with medical staff from the Delaware National Guard (DNG) have launched mobile units to offer COVID-19 vaccines in underserved communities. Medically trained DNG staff are offering the Pfizer vaccine (for ages 12+) and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine (for persons 18+). These mobile units are visiting communities with low vaccination rates in an effort to eliminate potential barriers to access. The mobile units, which utilize trailers to transport the vaccine and provide vaccinations, are scheduled to visit these communities in New Castle, Kent and Sussex counties next week. COVID-19 testing will be available at each location.

Monday, September 13

New Galilee Church, Wilmington, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Tuesday, September 14

Spence’s Bazaar & Auction, Dover, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Country Farms, Dover, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Wednesday, September 15

Byler’s Store, Dover, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Wawa, 200 East St, Camden, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Adams Four Shopping Center, Wilmington, 3:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Thursday, September 16

Seaford Mobile Gardens, Seaford, 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Friday, September 17 

Kingswood Community Center, Wilmington, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Sunday September 19

Maxima Hispanic Festival, Wilmington Riverfront, 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

*dates may be rescheduled if there is inclement weather

For a full list of community-based events statewide including those organized by vaccinating partners and community groups at de.gov/getmyvaccine.

Long-term Care Statistics: 

As of 6:00 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 9, there have been a total of 2,871 positive COVID-19 cases involving long-term care residents, and 834 residents of Delaware long-term care facilities have died from complications related to COVID-19.

Symptoms and Testing:

It’s especially important for unvaccinated persons to be aware of and self-monitor for the symptoms of COVID-19. DPH recommends that unvaccinated people get tested once a week.Even fully vaccinated persons should get tested if they develop symptoms or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19.

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.

Individuals with general 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 delaware211@uwde.org. Hours of operation are:

Monday – Friday: 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Saturday: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Medically related questions regarding testing, symptoms, and health-related guidance can be submitted by email at DPHCall@delaware.gov.

Delawareans 18 or older are encouraged to download COVID Alert DE, Delaware’s free exposure notification app to help protect your neighbors while ensuring your privacy. Download on the App Store or Google Play

Questions related to business re-openings or operations as businesses re-open should go to COVID19FAQ@delaware.gov. Questions regarding unemployment claims should be emailed to: UIClaims@delaware.gov.

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

 


Auditor McGuiness to Hold Town Halls on Spending of American Rescue Plan Funds

DOVER, Del. – State Auditor Kathy McGuiness said today she will hold a series of town halls focusing on Project: Gray Fox, her online resource for municipalities, counties, school districts and state agencies to securely track their American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) spending.

“Delawareans have been asking for greater accessibility, transparency and good governance in the First State,” McGuiness said. “These town halls will allow the public to better understand how their communities will be spending their ARPA funds.”

Delaware received approximately $1.25 billion total in ARPA money. The U.S. Treasury has issued guidance for how government entities can spend the funds, but each entity – whether that’s a municipality, school district, county or state agency – ultimately decides which of the Treasury-approved spending categories to choose from.

“These town halls will provide the necessary information so that all Delawareans can be informed citizen fiscal watchdogs,” McGuiness said.

Here are the dates and times for the first set of town halls:

  • Sept. 20, 2021 (6-8 p.m) @ Rehoboth Beach Convention Center, 229 Rehoboth Ave, Rehoboth Beach 
  • Sept. 29, 2021 (6-8 p.m) @ Dover High School, 1 Dover High Drive, Dover
  • Oct. 18, 2021 (6-8 p.m) @ Newark Executive Banquet and Conference Center, 205 Executive Drive, Newark
  • Oct. 25, 2021 (6-8 p.m) @ Delaware Technical Community College-Owens Campus, 21779 College Drive, Georgetown

More dates and locations will be added soon.

As state auditor, McGuiness is dedicated to identifying fraud, waste and abuse of taxpayer dollars. Project: Gray Fox proactively seeks to prevent those issues by allowing for transparency and accountability as these crucial tax dollars are spent.

For more information on Project: Gray Fox, follow @DEAuditor1 on Twitter, @DEAuditor on Instagram and on Facebook at facebook.com/deauditor.

The new Project: Gray Fox section of the Auditor’s Office website can be found here or by using this QR code:

QR code for Project Gray Fox

 

Learn about the Delaware Auditor’s Office at https://auditor.delaware.gov.

###

Contact:       

Anna Nuzzolese, Executive Assistant

302-857-3907

Anna.Nuzzolese@delaware.gov


Weekly COVID-19 Update – Sept. 3, 2021: Hospitalizations, Cases Continue Concerning Trend Upward

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, September 2, 2021.

A total of 121,283 positive cases of COVID-19 among Delaware residents have been reported to DPH since March 11, 2020. The seven-day average of new positive cases increased to 396.7 as of Thursday, September 2, 2021.

As of Tuesday, August 31, the seven-day average for the percentage of total tests that were positive was 7.6%, an increase from 7.4% of Tuesday, August 24. 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, 233 individuals are currently hospitalized due to COVID-19 in Delaware, an increase of 23 from last week. Forty-eight of the hospitalized persons are critically ill, an increase of 14 from last week.

A total of 1,888 Delawareans have passed away due to complications from COVID-19. Thirteen deaths were reported in the past week, seven of which were from a review of vital statistics. The total number of individuals who have died from COVID-19 range in age from younger than 5 to 104 years old. Of those who have died, 956 were female and 932 were male. A total of 937 individuals were from New Castle County, 392 were from Kent County, and 559 were from Sussex County.

Protect Yourself During the Labor Day Weekend:
With the holiday weekend upon us and many people enjoying the last long weekend of the summer, it is important to remind those who are not vaccinated that the best protection against COVID-19 is to continue to wear a mask and to get vaccinated as soon as possible. COVID-19 cases are on the rise and Delawareans should make the necessary effort to protect themselves against the virus.

According to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Delawareans should consider wearing a mask in crowded outdoor settings and for activities with close contact with others who are not fully vaccinated. To maximize protection from the Delta variant and prevent possibly spreading it to others, DPH strongly encourages wearing a mask indoors in public.

DelVAX Public Access Portal:
Delawareans can now access their immunization record through the DelVAX Public Access Portal. Parents and legal guardians can print official immunization records for their child/children (ages 0 through 17 years), and adults (ages 18 years and over) can print an official immunization record for themselves. For information and link for the DelVAX Public Access Portal: https://www.dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dph/ipp/portalflyer.pdf. This portal will assist those who need to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination but may have lost their vaccination card. While DPH does not replace the card, Delawareans now have an easier way to access their vaccination record. DelVAX is the official record for a person’s vaccination data. Individuals who need assistance can call 1-800-282-8672, or email DelVAX@delaware.gov. Responses to emails and calls received after regular business hours or on weekends may take up to 48 hours.

COVID-19 Vaccinations:
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 76.3% of Delawareans ages 18+ have received at least one dose of the vaccine. As of 12:01 a.m. September 3, 2021, a total of 1,123,792 administered doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been reported to the state’s immunization information system, DelVAX. Among Delawareans 12+, 559,801 have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and 500,441 Delawareans are fully vaccinated. Delaware’s latest COVID-19 vaccination statistics can be found under the Vaccine Tracker dashboard at de.gov/healthycommunity.

Vaccines are the best protection we have against COVID-19 and circulating variants. For the latest information on the COVID-19 vaccine and the vaccination rollout in Delaware, visit de.gov/covidvaccine.

COVID-19 Case Vaccination Status Report:
The following report captures a weekly breakdown of vaccination status for cases, deaths, and hospitalizations for the time frame for August 23 – August 29. The report highlights the significant percentage of cases and hospitalized individuals in Delaware who are unvaccinated, or only partially vaccinated. Vaccination continues to be the most important factor in reducing deaths and hospitalizations from COVID-19.

 

Weekly Overview
(8/23 -8/29)
Unvaccinated Cases
Total Unvaccinated / Partially Vaccinated Cases 2023
Total Cases 2582
Percent of Unvaccinated / Partially Vaccinated Cases 78%
Hospitalizations
Unvaccinated / Partially Vaccinated Hospitalized  Cases 100
Total Hospitalized Cases 117
Percent of Unvaccinated / Partially Vaccinated Hospitalized  Cases 85%
Deaths
Unvaccinated / Partially Vaccinated COVID-19 Deaths 8
Total COVID-19 Deaths 9
Percent of Unvaccinated / Partially Vaccinated COVID-19 Deaths 89%

 

Breakthrough Cases:
To date, 500,441 Delawareans have been fully vaccinated. Of those, there have been 1,843 breakthrough cases of COVID-19, occurring in approximately four-tenths of 1 percent of vaccinated individuals. Forty-five of the reported breakthrough cases identified since vaccinations began involved hospitalizations and 21 individuals passed away, although it does not mean COVID-19 was the cause of death. Breakthrough cases continue to be extremely rare given the total number of persons who are fully vaccinated, and the science is clear, the best way to prevent serious illness from COVID-19 is to get vaccinated.

A breakthrough case is defined as testing positive for COVID-19 after an individual has been fully vaccinated for two weeks or more – although it does not mean that the infection actually occurred after vaccination.

Update on COVID-19 Variant Cases in Delaware:
As of Friday, September 3, the Division of Public Health has identified the following COVID-19 variants in Delaware through routine surveillance of test specimens. These variants are based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) list of Variants of Concern and Variants of Interest. The below table represents cumulative totals.

Variants of Concern Variants of Interest
Variant Origin # of Cases Variant Origin # of Cases
Alpha/B.1.1.7 United Kingdom 1007 Eta/B.1.525 UK/Nigeria (formerly New York, US) 2
Beta/B.1.351 South Africa 1 Iota/B.1.526/B.1526.1 New York, US 330
Gamma/P.1 Brazil 64      
Delta/B.1.617.2 India 415      

 

Of the test samples that were sequenced in the last week, 159 (69.4%) of the 229 test samples sequenced at the DPH Lab were positive for a variant strain, as were 2 additional specimens sequenced at an outside lab. Ninety-nine percent of the 161 variant positive samples this week were identified as the Delta variant strain.

The Delaware Public Health Laboratory has sequenced 4,109 specimens for COVID-19 variant strains to date. In aggregate, the cases include 1,515 adults ranging in age from 18-98, as well as 304 individuals under the age of 18. A total of 1,316 individuals were from New Castle County, 260 were from Kent County and 243 were from Sussex County.

Virus mutation is common. Sequencing for variants is a complex process and is not used for diagnosing COVID-19. It is used after a positive case of COVID-19 has been identified for surveillance purposes, or in identifying the presence of a variant strain in the community. When variant strains are identified, public health approaches and treatments do not currently change. Because these variants may spread more easily, it is even more important that unvaccinated individuals who are more susceptible to getting COVID-19 continue taking the necessary steps to avoid spreading the virus – wearing a mask, washing your hands, and being cautious when attending large gatherings.

The science is clear that the vaccines are extremely safe and effective even against variants – and Delawareans who are fully vaccinated have significant protection from COVID-19 infection and serious illness. We would encourage all Delawareans to get vaccinated – de.gov/getmyvaccine.

For more information regarding CDC variant classifications, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/variant-surveillance/variant-info.html.

DPH COVID Vaccine Mobile Units:
DPH officials in partnership with medical staff from the Delaware National Guard (DNG) have launched mobile units to offer COVID-19 vaccines in underserved communities. Medically trained DNG staff are offering the Pfizer vaccine (for ages 12+) and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine (for persons 18+). These mobile units are visiting communities with low vaccination rates in an effort to eliminate potential barriers to access. The mobile units, which utilize trailers to transport the vaccine and provide vaccinations, are scheduled to visit these communities in New Castle, Kent and Sussex counties next week. COVID-19 testing will be available at each location.

Tuesday, September 7
Royal Farm, Hartley, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Shoppes at Hamlet, Dover, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Bancroft Elementary School, Wilmington, 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Wednesday, September 8
Immanuel United Methodist Church, Cheswold, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Wawa, 2800 N DuPont Hwy, Dover,1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Thursday, September 9
Dollar General, Seaford, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Bethel Market, Bethel, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Goodwill, 300 E Lea Blvd, Wilmington, 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Friday, September 10
Congo Funeral Home, Wilmington, 10 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

*dates may be rescheduled if there is inclement weather

For a full list of community-based events statewide including those organized by vaccinating partners and community groups at de.gov/getmyvaccine.

Long-term Care Statistics:
As of 6:00 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 2, there have been a total of 2,851 positive COVID-19 cases involving long-term care residents, and 831 residents of Delaware long-term care facilities have died from complications related to COVID-19.

Symptoms and Testing:
It’s especially important for unvaccinated persons to be aware of and self-monitor for the symptoms of COVID-19. DPH recommends that unvaccinated people get tested once a week. Even fully vaccinated persons should get tested if they develop symptoms or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19.

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.

Individuals with general 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 delaware211@uwde.org. Hours of operation are:

Monday – Friday: 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Saturday: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Medically related questions regarding testing, symptoms, and health-related guidance can be submitted by email at DPHCall@delaware.gov.

Delawareans 18 or older are encouraged to download COVID Alert DE, Delaware’s free exposure notification app to help protect your neighbors while ensuring your privacy. Download on the App Store or Google Play

Questions related to business re-openings or operations as businesses re-open should go to COVID19FAQ@delaware.gov. Questions regarding unemployment claims should be emailed to: UIClaims@delaware.gov.

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


Weekly COVID-19 Update – August 27, 2021: Seven-Day Average For Positive Cases Surpasses 350

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, August 26, 2021.   

   

A total of 118,544 positive cases of COVID-19 among Delaware residents have been reported to DPH since March 11, 2020. The seven-day average of new positive cases increased to 354.1 as of Thursday, August 26, 2021.   

   

As of Tuesday, August 24, the seven-day average for the percentage of total tests that were positive was 7.5%, a decrease from 7.8% as of Tuesday, August 17. 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, 210 individuals are currently hospitalized due to COVID-19 in Delaware, an increase of 45 from last week. Thirty-four of the hospitalized persons are critically ill, an increase of five from last week.   

  

A total of 1,875 Delawareans have passed away due to complications from COVID-19. Twenty-four deaths were reported in the past week, nine of which were from a review of vital statistics. The total number of individuals who have died from COVID-19 range in age from younger than 5 to 104 years old. Of those who have died, 951 were female and 924 were male. A total of 931 individuals were from New Castle County, 388 were from Kent County, and 556 were from Sussex County.  

  

FDA Approves Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine for Individuals 16 and Older:

On Monday, August 23, 2021, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it has approved the COVID-19 Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine biologics license application (BLA) for individuals 16+. It is the first of the three available COVID-19 vaccines to receive official approval from the FDA. Previously, the vaccine was being distributed only under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). The Pfizer vaccine has since been subject to an exhaustive independent review by FDA scientists – including an additional eight months of safety data and follow up with vaccine recipients, leading the FDA to grant approval. With full approval for a COVID-19 vaccine, the public can be even more confident that the COVID-19 vaccines work and are safe.

 

The vaccine also continues to be available under emergency use authorization (EUA), including for individuals 12 through 15 years of age and for the administration of a third dose in certain immunocompromised individuals. While there is not yet enough data to include 12-to-15-year-olds or the immunocompromised who want a third dose under the full approval, this does not mean the vaccine is not safe for these individuals. They are still eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine under the existing Emergency Use Authorization, which remains in effect.

 

The FDA approval of the Pfizer vaccine includes a name change for the vaccine to COMIRNATY. It is the same vaccine and the same dosage; only the name has changed. 

 

COVID-19 Vaccinations:   

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 75.6% of Delawareans ages 18+ have received at least one dose of the vaccine. As of 12:01 a.m. August 27, 2021, a total of 1,109,421 administered doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been reported to the state’s immunization information system, DelVAX. Among Delawareans 12+, 554,201 have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and 492,758 Delawareans are fully vaccinated. Delaware’s latest COVID-19 vaccination statistics can be found under the Vaccine Tracker dashboard at de.gov/healthycommunity.   

   

Vaccines are the best protection we have against COVID-19 and circulating variants. For the latest information on the COVID-19 vaccine and the vaccination rollout in Delaware, visit de.gov/covidvaccine.   

   

COVID-19 Case Vaccination Status Report:  

The following report captures a weekly breakdown of vaccination status for cases, deaths, and hospitalizations for the time frame for August 16 – August 22. The report highlights the significant percentage of cases and hospitalized individuals in Delaware who are unvaccinated, or only partially vaccinated. Vaccination continues to be the most important factor in reducing deaths and hospitalizations from COVID-19. 

 

Weekly Overview
(8/16 -8/22)

Unvaccinated Cases

Total Unvaccinated / Partially Vaccinated Cases

1783

Total Cases

2309

Percent of Unvaccinated / Partially Vaccinated Cases

77%

Hospitalizations

Unvaccinated / Partially Vaccinated Hospitalized  Cases

94

Total Hospitalized Cases

128

Percent of Unvaccinated / Partially Vaccinated Hospitalized  Cases

73%

Deaths

Unvaccinated / Partially Vaccinated COVID-19 Deaths

8

Total COVID-19 Deaths

13

Percent of Unvaccinated / Partially Vaccinated COVID-19 Deaths

62%

 

Breakthrough Cases:  

To date, 492,758 Delawareans have been fully vaccinated. Of those, there have been 1,544 breakthrough cases of COVID-19, occurring in approximately three-tenths of 1 percent of vaccinated individuals. Forty-three of the reported breakthrough cases identified since vaccinations began involved hospitalizations and 21 individuals passed away, although it does not mean COVID-19 was the cause of death. Breakthrough cases continue to be extremely rare given the total number of persons who are fully vaccinated, and the science is clear, the best way to prevent serious illness from COVID-19 is to get vaccinated.   

 

A breakthrough case is defined as testing positive for COVID-19 after an individual has been fully vaccinated for two weeks or more – although it does not mean that the infection actually occurred after vaccination. 

 

Update on COVID-19 Variant Cases in Delaware:  

As of Friday, August 27, the Division of Public Health has identified the following COVID-19 variants in Delaware through routine surveillance of test specimens. These variants are based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) list of Variants of Concern and Variants of Interest. The CDC recently removed Epsilon/B.1.427 and Epsilon/B.1.429 from the Variants of Interest list. As a result, we have removed them from the below chart.

 

Of the tests samples that were sequenced, 68% percent of the 139 test samples sequenced at the DPH Lab were positive for a variant strain, as were 20 additional specimens sequenced at an outside lab. This brings the total of variant positive samples to 114 for the week. Ninety-seven percent were identified as the Delta variant strain.

 

Variants of Concern   Variants of Interest
Variant Origin # of Cases Variant Origin # of Cases
Alpha/B.1.1.7  United Kingdom 1007 Eta/B.1.525 UK/Nigeria (formerly NEW York, US) 2
Beta/B.1.351  South Africa 1 Iota/B.1.526 New York, US  272
Gamma/P.1 Brazil 63 Epsilon/B.1.427 California, US 10
Delta/B.1.617.2 India 255 Epslion/B.1.429 California, US 11
     

 

 

 

The Delaware Public Health Laboratory has sequenced 3,880 specimens for COVID-19 variant strains to date. In aggregate, the cases include 1,376 adults ranging in age from 18-98, as well as 282 individuals under the age of 18. One thousand two hundred and twenty-seven individuals were from New Castle County, 223 were from Kent County and 208 were from Sussex County.    

 

Virus mutation is common. Sequencing for variants is a complex process and is not used for diagnosing COVID-19. It is used after a positive case of COVID-19 has been identified for surveillance purposes, or in identifying the presence of a variant strain in the community. When variant strains are identified, public health approaches and treatments do not currently change. Because these variants may spread more easily, it is even more important that unvaccinated individuals who are more susceptible to getting COVID-19 continue taking the necessary steps to avoid spreading the virus – wearing a mask, washing your hands, and being cautious when attending large gatherings.  

   

The science is clear that the vaccines are extremely safe and effective even against variants – and Delawareans who are fully vaccinated have significant protection from COVID-19 infection and serious illness. We would encourage all Delawareans to get vaccinated – de.gov/getmyvaccine.   

   

For more information regarding CDC variant classifications, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/variant-surveillance/variant-info.html.  

   

DPH COVID Vaccine Mobile Units:  

DPH officials in partnership with medical staff from the Delaware National Guard (DNG) have launched mobile units to offer COVID-19 vaccines in underserved communities. Medically trained DNG staff are offering the Pfizer vaccine (for ages 12+) and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine (for persons 18+). These mobile units are visiting communities with low vaccination rates in an effort to eliminate potential barriers to access. The mobile units, which utilize trailers to transport the vaccine and provide vaccinations, are scheduled to visit these communities in New Castle, Kent and Sussex counties next week. COVID-19 testing will be available at each location. 

   

Monday, August 30

           Merchants Square, Wilmington, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. 

 

Tuesday, August 31  

Carroll’s Plaza Laundromat, Dover, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.  

Gateway South Shopping Center, Dover, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. 

Lady Bug Festival, Market Street, Wilmington 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

 

Wednesday, September 1  

Wilmington Farmers Market, Wilmington, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.  

Adams Four Shopping Center, Wilmington, 3:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. 

 

Thursday, September 2  

Rainbow Pediatrics, Georgetown, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.  

Rainbow Pediatrics, Georgetown, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.  

 

Friday, Sepember 3 

Edna C. Dickey Park, Newark, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. 

  

*dates may be rescheduled if there is inclement weather  

  

For a full list of community-based events statewide including those organized by vaccinating partners and community groups at de.gov/getmyvaccine.  

  

Long-term Care Statistics: 

As of 6:00 p.m. Thursday, August 26, there have been a total of 2,848 positive COVID-19 cases involving long-term care residents, and 830 residents of Delaware long-term care facilities have died from complications related to COVID-19.   

  

DPH Encourages Testing After Participating in Large Gatherings and Events:  

Given the significant increase in recent COVID-19 cases and the large number of gatherings and events that traditionally take place this month, it is recommended that individuals get tested if they have attended a large public gathering such as a concert, community-based event, or any such event where social distancing was not possible and the vaccination status of others is unknown. You should also get tested if you attended gatherings such as birthday parties, off-to-college parties, or weddings where people were in close contact and you were unable to confirm vaccination status of those around you, especially if the gatherings were indoors. A list of testing locations can be found at de.gov/gettested. Additionally, at-home test options are listed on the site, including take-home COVID-19 test kits available at Delaware Libraries. These rapid antigen test kits produce results in as little as 15 minutes and can be kept at home if someone develops symptoms. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, do not come to a library for a test kit.  

 

Symptoms and Testing: 

It’s especially important for unvaccinated persons, to be aware of, and self-monitor for, the symptoms of COVID-19.  Even fully vaccinated persons should get tested if they develop symptoms or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19.    

   

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.   

      

Individuals with general 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 delaware211@uwde.org. Hours of operation are:  

   

Monday – Friday: 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.   

Saturday: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.   

   

Medically related questions regarding testing, symptoms, and health-related guidance can be submitted by email at DPHCall@delaware.gov.     

   

Delawareans 18 or older are encouraged to download COVID Alert DE, Delaware’s free exposure notification app to help protect your neighbors while ensuring your privacy. Download on the App Store or Google Play  

   

Questions related to business re-openings or operations as businesses re-open should go to COVID19FAQ@delaware.gov. Questions regarding unemployment claims should be emailed to: UIClaims@delaware.gov.    

    

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