COVID-19 Update for March 21, 2020: DPH Announces Six Additional Positive Cases

SMYRNA (March 21, 2020) – The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) is providing an update on the number of positive cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) reported in the state.

There have been 45 total laboratory-confirmed cases in the state since March 11. This includes six additional cases since yesterday. Of the Delawareans diagnosed with COVID-19, 32 are from New Castle County, five are from Kent County, and eight are from Sussex County.

Of these cases, 24 are male and 21 are female. The individuals range in age from 14 to 80. Five individuals are currently hospitalized; two are critically ill. To protect personal health information, DPH will not be disclosing additional information about the individuals. DPH cannot confirm specific information even if other entities choose to make their own announcements.

The source of exposure for many of these positive cases is unknown, which indicates community spread of the virus is occurring in the state.

“The presence of community spread shows that we all must take the danger associated with this virus seriously,” said Dr. Karyl Rattay, director of the Division of Public Health. “For every person infected with COVID-19, they typically infect two to three additional people. That’s why the steps that Governor Carney has taken to close schools, restaurants and bars, recreational facilities and beaches is so important. We need to take these steps to prevent widespread outbreaks and slow the spread of the virus.”

If you think you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, or have symptoms of illness, make sure to distance yourself from vulnerable populations. This includes people 60 years of age and older; people with serious chronic health conditions such as diabetes, lung disease, heart disease; or those who are immunocompromised.

For individuals who are sick, particularly with fever and cough, or shortness of breath, stay home and contact your primary care provider for guidance regarding symptoms and next steps.

Governor John Carney, along with the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS), announced on Friday, a coordinated statewide plan to ensure individuals with symptoms consistent with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) have access to safe and efficient testing in Delaware. This plan will be rolled out during the week of Monday, March 23.

Through a collaborative effort between DPH, Delaware Healthcare Association, and each of the health care systems in the state, this statewide plan aims to streamline the testing process, reduce the burden on the health system, ensure the safety of patients and health care workers, and better meet the COVID-19 testing needs of Delawareans.

For those who have been tested for the virus, please note that the DPH Call Center does not have test results. Individuals awaiting test results, should wait to hear back from their medical provider.

Many individuals infected with COVID-19 recover by resting, drinking plenty of liquids and taking pain and fever-reducing medications. However, illness can be severe and require hospitalization in some cases.

Delawareans with general questions about COVID-19 or their exposure risk can call the Division of Public Health’s Coronavirus Call Center at 1-866-408-1899, or 711 for individuals who are hearing-impaired, from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Questions can also be submitted by email at DPHCall@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.

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COVID-19 Update for March 20, 2020: DPH Announces Nine Additional Positive Cases

The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) is providing an update on the number of positive cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) reported in the state.

There have been 39 total laboratory-confirmed cases in the state since March 11. This includes nine additional cases since yesterday. Of the Delawareans diagnosed with COVID-19, 27 are from New Castle County, five are from Kent County, and seven are from Sussex County.

Of these cases, 20 are male and 19 are female. The individuals range in age from 14 to 80. Four individuals are currently hospitalized; two are critically ill.

To protect personal health information, DPH will not disclose additional information about the individuals. DPH cannot confirm specific information even if other entities choose to make their own announcements.

If you think you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, or have symptoms of illness, make sure to distance yourself from vulnerable populations. This includes people 60 years of age and older; people with serious chronic health conditions such as diabetes, lung disease or heart disease; or those who are immunocompromised.

For individuals who are sick, particularly with fever and cough or shortness of breath, stay home and contact your primary care provider for guidance regarding symptoms and next steps.

For those who have been tested for the virus, please note that the DPH Call Center does not have test results. Individuals awaiting test results, should wait to hear back from their medical provider.

Many individuals infected with COVID-19 recover by resting, drinking plenty of liquids and taking pain and fever-reducing medications. However, illness can be severe and require hospitalization in some cases.

Delawareans with general questions about COVID-19 or their exposure risk can call the Division of Public Health’s Coronavirus Call Center at 1-866-408-1899, or 711 for individuals who are hearing-impaired, from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Questions can also be submitted by email at DPHCall@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.


New Bulletin Provides Recommendations to Insurers During COVID-19

Insurers asked to waive prior authorization requirements, cease cancellations and nonrenewals due to missed or delayed payments

Insurance Commissioner Trinidad Navarro and the Delaware Department of Insurance today issued a bulletin with recommended actions for the insurance industry. Requests included asking health insurers waive all prior authorization constraints for lab testing and future treatment of COVID-19, and that insurers consider ceasing cancellations or nonrenewals of insurance policies due to nonpayment throughout the duration of the declared Delaware State of Emergency.

“The insurance industry has the opportunity to help tens of thousands of Delaware residents, businesses, and healthcare providers during this state of emergency,” said Insurance Commissioner Trinidad Navarro. “Waiving prior authorization requirements would help the entire healthcare system to run more efficiently and allow providers to focus on patient outcomes rather than paperwork.”

Prior authorization is a process that requires certain tests, medications, or other health services to be pre-approved by an insurance company before a medical provider serves an insured consumer, which can at times result in delays. Should prior-authorization be voluntarily waived by insurers, that would not mean that residents should not be in contact with their primary care provider prior to visiting a COVID-19 testing site.

The bulletin also asked insurance carriers to voluntarily freeze cancellations and nonrenewals of policies that might have otherwise occurred due to delays in payments through the duration of the state of emergency.

“Throughout Delaware’s State of Emergency, many companies have had to close or reduce their business, and employees have been laid off or fired as a result,” Commissioner Navarro explained. “After hearing from businesses and residents who were concerned about the choices they will have to make with limited finances, we ask insurers to help alleviate some of that stress and ensure that residents and business owners in this difficult situation can have the peace of mind that insurance provides throughout the duration of the emergency.”

Business interruption coverage will vary policy to policy, and some business interruption coverage may explicitly exclude viral infections. Companies are urged to review their related insurance policies and contact their insurance company with questions about coverage. Hospitality small businesses and nonprofits may be able to apply for no-interest loans from the Division of Small Business Hospitality Emergency Loan Program (HELP). Organizations can receive a $10,000 maximum loan per month for rent, utilities, and other unavoidable, non-personnel bills.

On March 18, Governor Carney’s updated State of Emergency Declaration waived certain telemedicine regulations to expand access to these services. The Governor clarified that residents do not need to see a provider in-person before receiving telemedicine services, and that if a Delaware resident is out-of-state, they can still receive telemedicine services. To increase availability of these services, out-of-state providers who are licensed to provide telemedicine in other jurisdictions will also be able to serve Delaware residents through the duration of the emergency declaration. Telehealth and telemedicine can be provided via phone, webcam, facetime, and a myriad of other easily accessible options, as the department recently reminded insurers via bulletin.

Department of Insurance March 20 Bulletin

National Association of Insurance Commissioner’s COVID-19 and Insurance Brief

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UPDATE on DNREC operations in response to COVID-19

Events, including private rentals, canceled through May 15;
One-day cleaning period implemented between rentals of State Park cabins and cottages

DOVER, Del. – The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control continues to focus on taking a proactive and preventative approach to keep communities and employees safe in the midst of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, while maintaining operations and services as best as possible.

Detailed information about events, meetings and online options is available at dnrec.alpha.delaware.gov/coronavirus and destateparks.com/Covid19. A few of the updates include:

  • All Department events and programs scheduled from now through May 15 have been canceled, consistent with the Governor’s state of emergency order. The cancellations include private rentals and events at Delaware State Parks sites and facilities, such as picnics, 5Ks and parties. Organizers of events are being notified directly.
  • All state parks and wildlife areas remain open and no entrance fees will be charged through April 30. Anyone visiting a park or wildlife area is encouraged to engage in responsible social distancing practices and avoid groupings of people. Annual park passes, good for the entire season, and surf fishing tags should be purchased online only or at any third-party agents instead of at park offices or in the Dover office. Purchased park passes will be mailed before April 30. Conservation access passes needed for state wildlife areas after April 30 should also be purchased only online or at any third-party agents instead of the Dover office.
  • All state park campsites, cabins, bathhouses, and cottages continue to be open at this time. There will be at least one-day break between rental periods of cabins and cottages to allow for thorough, increased cleanings between guests.
  • Public hearings will be available via phone or video conference. The public will be able to submit comments about the subject of each hearing via email, online form, or regular mail. Verbatim transcripts will be prepared by a court reporter while all exhibits entered into the hearing record will be posted on hearing-specific DNREC webpages. Specific information on how to access each hearing will be posted with individual hearing notices.
  • Sales of fishing licenses, hunting licenses, wildlife area conservation access passes and boat registrations will be online transactions only or made at any third-party vendors that remain open. The Department has provided convenient links to these resources on its homepage, available at dnrec.delaware.gov.
  • Commercial fishing license sales will continue at the Department’s main office in Dover but by appointment only. Call 302-739-9916 to make an appointment.
  • Applications and information provided for well, septic, air, water and other permits are being accepted by email, mail and phone, reducing direct interchange of documents.
  • Offices remain open, but with limited services. A limited number of staff are onsite, but many personnel are working remotely, and available by email and phone to provide technical assistance to the public, contractors, and environmental consultants on regulatory inquiries and permitting matters.

For the latest information on COVID-19 in Delaware, visit de.gov/coronavirus.

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities and educates Delawareans about the environment. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Contact: Nikki Lavoie, nikki.lavoie@delaware.gov


COVID-19 Update March 19, 2020: Public Health Announces Four Additional Positive Cases

DOVER (March 19, 2020) – The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) is providing an update on the number of positive cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) reported in the state.

There have been 30 total laboratory-confirmed cases in the state since March 11. This includes four additional cases since yesterday. Of the Delawareans diagnosed with COVID-19, 23 are from New Castle County, four are from Kent County, and three are from Sussex County.

Of these cases, 17 are male and 13 are female. The individuals range in age from 14 to 80. Three individuals are currently hospitalized; one is critically ill.

To protect personal health information, DPH will not be disclosing additional information about the individuals. DPH cannot confirm specific information even if other entities choose to make their own announcements.

If you think you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, or have symptoms of illness, make sure to distance yourself from vulnerable populations. This includes people 60 years of age and older; people with serious chronic health conditions such as diabetes, lung disease, heart disease; or those who are immunocompromised.

For individuals who are sick, particularly with fever and cough, or shortness of breath, stay home and contact your primary care provider for guidance regarding symptoms and next steps.

For those who have been tested for the virus, please note that the DPH Call Center does not have test results. Individuals awaiting test results, should wait to hear back from their medical provider.

Many individuals infected with COVID-19 recover by resting, drinking plenty of liquids and taking pain and fever-reducing medications. However, illness can be severe and require hospitalization in some cases.

Delawareans with general questions about COVID-19 or their exposure risk can call the Division of Public Health’s Coronavirus Call Center at 1-866-408-1899, or 711 for individuals who are hearing-impaired, from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Questions can also be submitted by email at DPHCall@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.