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.