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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Governor Carney Announces Health Care Relief Fund 

$100 million CARES Act fund will support Delaware health care providers 

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney and the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) on Tuesday announced the creation of a Health Care Relief Fund to support Delaware health care providers through the COVID-19 crisis.

The $100 million fund will support providers throughout the health care industry that have been on the front lines fighting COVID-19 in Delaware. This includes home health care agencies, intellectual and developmental disability providers, nursing homes and assisted-living facilities, behavioral health service providers, and Delaware’s hospital systems.

Healthy Communities Delaware – a statewide public-private partnership that works to address social determinants of health – also will receive funding for distribution to Delaware communities that have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19.

Additional details about the Health Care Relief Fund will be available at de.gov/coronavirus.

Questions about the Health Care Relief Fund can be emailed to DHSS_CaresQuestions@delaware.gov.

“Delaware’s health care workers have been looking out for the most vulnerable Delawareans since the beginning of this crisis. We owe them our support,” said Governor Carney. “This Health Care Relief Fund will make sure that Delaware’s health care providers can safely deliver important health care services as we continue to fight this virus. But we all need to do our part. Avoid large crowds. Wear a face mask in public settings. Wash or sanitize your hands frequently. Stay vigilant and we’ll get through this.”

Funding from the Health Care Relief Fund can be used to support COVID-19 related investments, including technology upgrades, purchases of personal protective equipment (PPE), and environmental modifications in health care facilities.

“Like other industries, we know health care providers have had a difficult year balancing their regular services with the uncertainty created by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Molly Magarik, Secretary of the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services. “We also know that some of our low-income and minority communities have borne the brunt of this pandemic. That’s why we’re excited to announce an additional $100 million in funding that will support providers and entities to address the gaps and continued need for such resources as telehealth equipment and personal protective equipment.”

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.

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.

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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Delaware Cancer Mortality Rates Decrease Between 2002-2006 & 2012-2016; Improvements Among Specific Races, Ethnicities

DOVER (October 12, 2020) – Over the last decade, Delaware’s mortality rate for all cancer sites combined (all-site cancer) declined 10 percent between the five-year periods of 2002-2006 and 2012-2016, according to the latest cancer data released by the Division of Public Health (DPH). In the same time span, Delaware’s all-site cancer mortality rate also declined for African-American males and females and Hispanic females. Additionally, mortality rates decreased for female breast, colorectal, lung, prostate, and Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.

“After years of work, the data reflects our efforts to have more Delawareans get important cancer screenings,” said Governor John Carney. “We know that the earlier cancer is detected, the more treatable it is. In addition to screenings, I urge everyone to make healthier lifestyle choices, as smoking, vaping, and being overweight or obese, are among our greatest risks for developing cancer.” Governor Carney also praised the ongoing work of the Delaware Cancer Consortium (DCC) and DPH for coordinating cancer advocacy efforts.

DPH presented its data report, Cancer Incidence and Mortality in Delaware, 2012-2016, to the DCC in Dover on Monday. The report provides data for all-site cancer and eight site-specific cancer types: breast, colorectal, lung, melanoma, Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, prostate, thyroid, and uterine.

Among Delaware males from 2002-2006 to 2012-2016, all-site cancer mortality rates decreased 29 percent among non-Hispanic African-Americans and 16 percent among non-Hispanic Caucasians, yet increased 19 percent in Hispanic males. Among Delaware females from 2002-2006 to 2012-2016, all-site cancer mortality rates decreased 13 percent among non-Hispanic African Americans, 11 percent among non-Hispanic Caucasians, and 4 percent among Hispanics. DPH attributed the decreases in all-site cancer mortality among these racial and ethnic groups to increased screening and early detection efforts.

“We are working diligently to reduce the health disparities faced by many of our communities of color,” said DHSS Secretary Molly Magarik. “By focusing on the important role of screening and prevention along with population health, I’m confident that we will see greater improvement in achieving health equity for all Delawareans.”

In the short term, Delaware ranked 15th highest in the U.S. for all-site cancer mortality in the most recent five-year period of 2012-2016, a decline compared to its rank of 18 in the five-year period of 2011-2015. Since the U.S. all-site cancer mortality rate statistically significantly decreased in 2012-2016, it may have impacted Delaware’s 2012-2016 rank. For 2012-2016, the state’s all-site cancer mortality rate (174.0 deaths per 100,000 people) was 8 percent higher than the U.S. rate (161.1 deaths per 100,000) a statistically significant difference. Also for 2012-2016:

• Delaware males (206.8 per 100,000) ranked 18th for all-site cancer mortality; a statistically significantly higher rate compared to U.S. males (193.3 per 100,000).
• Delaware males had a statistically significantly higher all-site cancer mortality rate than Delaware females (150.1 per 100,000).
• Delaware females had a statistically significantly higher all-site cancer mortality rate compared to U.S. females (137.8 per 100,000) and were ranked 14th for all-site cancer mortality in 2012-2016 (no change from 2011-2015).

Regarding incidence, or diagnosis of new cancer cases, in 2012-2016, Delaware (491.5 per 100,000) remained ranked second-highest nationally for all-site cancer incidence, which was statistically significantly higher than the U.S. (435.1 per 100,000). Delaware males (542.9 per 100,000) had a statistically significantly higher all-site cancer incidence rate compared to Delaware females (455.4 per 100,000). Delaware males rank third compared to U.S. males (474.3 per 100,000) and Delaware females rank fifth in the U.S. compared to U.S. females (409.6 per 100,000). The success of Delaware’s screening programs is part of the reason cancers are being identified, and leading in part, to the state’s continued No. 2 ranking for cancer incidence. However, DPH officials are concerned that the COVID-19 pandemic may lead to adverse impacts in the future.

“Many people had to delay getting cancer screenings due to COVID-19, so it’s possible that some people’s cancers are not being caught as early as they otherwise might be,” said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. “I strongly encourage Delawareans to make their appointments now to get caught up on recommended screenings. We’ve made it easy to find and schedule cancer screening appointments with a phone call or a few clicks at HealthyDelaware.org.”

To encourage women to get screened for breast cancer, DPH’s Comprehensive Cancer Control Program worked tirelessly with DCC and community leaders to reach racial and ethnic minorities through their providers, hair stylists, churches, and other organizations. DPH and DCC initiated patient navigation services for women age 40-64 and asked providers to send patient reminders, display educational posters, and show informative videos to alleviate any fears of getting a mammogram. Eighty-one percent of non-Hispanic African-American females and 79 percent of non-Hispanic Caucasian females 40 years of age and older in Delaware reported having a mammogram within the previous two years, according to the 2018 Behavioral Risk Factor Survey (BRFS). All Delaware females 40 years of age and older ranked third highest nationally (79 percent) for this indicator.

BREAST CANCER

In 2012-2016, Delaware (22.1 per 100,000) ranked 20th for breast cancer mortality compared to 21st in 2011-2015; the Delaware rate was not statistically significantly different from the U.S. rate (20.6 per 100,000). From 2002-2006 to 2012-2016, female breast cancer mortality in Delaware decreased 6 percent, compared to the U.S. decline of 16 percent. The 2012-2016 female breast cancer incidence rate for Delaware (136.5 per 100,000) was statistically significantly higher than the U.S. female rate (126.0 per 100,000). Delaware’s percent of female breast cancer cases diagnosed at the local stage increased from 42 percent in 1980-1984 to 68 percent in 2012-2016.

COLORECTAL CANCER

Delaware ranked 11th-highest in prevalence in the U.S. for meeting the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force colorectal screening recommendations. Nearly 73 percent of Delawareans age 50-74 years reported meeting the recommendations, more than the national median of 70 percent. Incidence: Delaware’s 2012-2016 ranking for colorectal cancer incidence is 31st (38th in 2011-2015). In Delaware, colorectal cancer cases diagnosed at the local stage increased from 32 percent in 1980-1984 to 40 percent in 2012-2016. From 2002-2006 to 2012-2016, Delaware’s colorectal cancer incidence rate decreased 28 percent compared to a 22 percent decrease in the U.S. Also, Delaware’s colorectal cancer incidence rates declined more than the U.S. rates for both males and females. Mortality: While the state’s colorectal cancer mortality rate has historically been higher than the U.S. rate, in 2012-2016, Delaware’s colorectal cancer mortality rate (13.7 per 100,000) was lower than that of the U.S. (14.2 per 100,000). Delaware ranked 35th nationally for colorectal cancer mortality in 2012-2016 (41st in 2011-2015).

LUNG CANCER

As the most frequently diagnosed cancer and the most common cause of cancer death in the U.S. and Delaware, lung cancer continues to account for an enormous share of the state’s overall cancer burden. For 2012-2016, lung cancer accounted for 15 percent of all newly diagnosed cancer cases and 28 percent of all cancer deaths in Delaware. DPH and the DCC continue to encourage providers to refer tobacco users to lung cancer screening and the Delaware Quitline, the state’s tobacco cessation program. They continue to educate the general public on lung cancer screenings and the importance of quitting tobacco and vaping.

Delaware saw slight increases in lung cancers diagnosed in the earlier stages before the cancer spreads to distant tissues, organs, or lymph nodes and is more difficult to treat. Fifty percent of Delaware’s lung cancers in 2012-2016 were diagnosed at distant stage, compared to 52 percent in the U.S. In 2012-2016, Delaware (69.7 per 100,000) had a statistically significantly higher lung cancer incidence rate compared to the U.S. (53.4 per 100,000). Delaware males (79.1 per 100,000) had a statistically significantly higher lung cancer incidence rate compared to Delaware females (62.9 per 100,000) and to U.S. males (61.9 per 100,000). Delaware females had a statistically significantly higher lung cancer incidence rate compared to U.S. females (47.0 per 100,000) in 2012-2016. In 2012-2016, Delaware Hispanics (30.8 per 100,000) had a statistically significantly lower lung cancer incidence rate compared to both non-Hispanic Caucasians (72.5 per 100,000) and non-Hispanic African Americans (69.2 per 100,000).

Regarding mortality, Delaware (48.4 per 100,000) had a statistically significantly higher lung cancer mortality rate compared to the U.S. (41.9 per 100,000) in 2012-2016. Delaware females (41.0 per 100,000) had a statistically significantly higher lung cancer mortality rate compared to U.S. females (34.4 per 100,000). In the longer term, from 2002-2006 to 2012-2016, lung cancer mortality rates decreased 19 percent in Delaware and 22 percent in the U.S.

PROSTATE CANCER

Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among males in the U.S. and Delaware. Delaware ranked eighth nationally in the prevalence of males 40 years of and older who have had a protein-specific antigen (PSA) test within the past two years. According to the 2018 BRFS, 38 percent of Delaware males 40 and older reported having a PSA test in the past two years, compared to the national median prevalence of 33 percent. Delaware’s prostate cancer incidence rate decreased by 27 percent between 2002-2006 and 2012-2016, compared to a 34 percent decrease in the U.S. Delaware’s 2012-2016 prostate cancer incidence rate (129.1 per 100,000) was statistically significantly higher than the U.S. (106.8 per 100,000) – trends that likely reflect a greater prevalence of prostate cancer screening. In Delaware in 2012-2016, non-Hispanic Caucasians accounted for 69 percent of prostate cancer cases.

Regarding mortality, from 2002-2006 to 2012-2016, the prostate cancer mortality rate decreased 34 percent in Delaware and 26 percent in the U.S. Also, Delaware’s prostate cancer mortality rank improved from 43rd in 2011-2015 to 46th in 2012-2016. Non-Hispanic Caucasians in Delaware (15.3 per 100,000) had a statistically significantly lower prostate cancer mortality rate compared to the U.S. (18.1 per 100,000) in 2012-2016. However, non-Hispanic African Americans (33.8 per 100,000) in Delaware had a statistically significantly higher prostate cancer mortality rate in 2012-2016 compared to Delaware’s non-Hispanic Caucasians – a disparity similarly seen in the U.S. (U.S. non-Hispanic African Americans: 39.8 per 100,000; U.S. Caucasians: 18.1 per 100,000).

MALIGNANT MELANOMA

While Delaware’s incidence rank of malignant melanoma of the skin (“malignant melanoma”) improved from third in 2011-2015 to fifth in 2012-2016, its 2012-2016 incidence rate (29.9 per 100,000) is statistically significantly higher compared to the U.S. (23.2 per 100,000). Between 2002-2006 and 2012-2016, malignant melanoma incidence rates increased 35 percent in Delaware and 17 percent in the U.S. In 2012-2016 in Delaware, 76 percent of malignant melanomas were diagnosed at the local stage. Regarding mortality, Delaware’s malignant melanoma mortality rank improved from 15th in 2011-2015 to 18th in 2012-2016 and for Delaware males, it improved from 21st in 2011-2015 to 25th in 2012-2016. However, among Delaware females, the malignant melanoma mortality rank worsened from sixth in 2011-2015 to third in 2012-2016.

“Since malignant melanoma can develop over 30 to 40 years, it is important to prevent blistering sunburns, especially in children, because that doubles the risk,” Dr. Rattay said. “In addition to avoiding the sun year-round between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Delawareans should wear sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15, cover up with clothing, and wear sunglasses and a hat with a wide brim. Communities should consider installing sun-protective covers over play areas. Do not delay seeing a dermatologist if you observe changes to the skin.”

RESOURCES

In addition to cancer incidence and mortality data, the Cancer Incidence and Mortality Report, 2012-2016 includes information about risk factors, screening, state of diagnosis, data trends, and a section on cancer survivorship in Delaware. The full report is available at: www.dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dph/dpc/files/iandm2012-2016.pdf. A secondary analysis of all-site cancer incidence rates by census tract accompanies the report and can be found at: www.dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dph/dpc/files/ct_analysis2012-2016.pdf.

For more information about DPH’s cancer prevention and treatment work, visit www.dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dph/dpc/cancer.html or call the Delaware Comprehensive Cancer Control Program at 302-744-1020. For more information about the DCC, including its recommendations, visit www.healthydelaware.org/Consortium. To learn how to prevent, detect, and treat chronic diseases, visit the Healthy Delaware website: HealthyDelaware.org.

Delaware’s cancer survivors can access insurance and cancer treatment needs from the Health Care Connection at https://dhss.delaware.gov/dph/dpc/chap.html) or call 2-1-1; and from Delaware’s Cancer Treatment Program at https://dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dph/dpc/catreatment.html or call 1-844-245-9580. For cancer follow-up and maintenance, visit the Cancer: Thriving and Surviving program (https://www.healthydelaware.org) or the Live Strong program at the YMCA (www.ymcade.org/livestrong/).

Individuals at high risk for lung cancer who should get a low-dose computed tomography (CT) scan are those who are 55-74 years of age and in fairly good health, have a smoking history equivalent to a pack a day for 30 years or longer, and who currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years. They can access CT screening criteria and scheduling directions at HealthyDelaware.org/lung or call 302-401-4212 to speak with a screening nurse navigator.

Providers in search of free lung cancer screening materials should visit www.healthydelaware.org/Healthcare-Providers/Cancer/Lung.
Delaware tobacco users seeking help quitting can contact the Delaware Quitline, a free tobacco cessation counseling hotline through the Delaware Tobacco Prevention and Control Program. Delaware residents 18 and older can reach Delaware Quitline at 1-866-409-1858 or http://dhss.delaware.gov/dph/dpc/quitline.html.

The Screening for Life program (www.dhss.delaware.gov/dph/dpc/sfl.html) provides payment for cancer screening tests to qualified Delaware adults. Eligible individuals can receive office visits, mammograms and clinical breast exams, Pap tests, screening tests for prostate, colorectal and lung cancer when recommended by your doctor; and lung cancer screening tests for men and women who are 55-80 years of age if they currently smoke or have quit smoking during the past 15 years; and smoke or smoked a pack a day for 30 or more years, or two packs a day for 15 or more years.

A person who is deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind or speech-disabled can call the DPH phone number above by using TTY services. Dial 7-1-1 or 800-232-5460 to type your conversation to a relay operator, who reads your conversation to a hearing person at DPH. The relay operator types the hearing person’s spoken words back to the TTY user. To learn more about TTY availability in Delaware, visit http://delawarerelay.com.

The Delaware Department of Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware’s citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations. DPH, a division of DHSS, urges Delawareans to make healthier choices with the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day, have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, gaming), get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day, and drink almost no sugary beverages.


Laurel Woman Charged With Animal Cruelty

LAUREL (October 8, 2020) — Officers from the Division of Public Health Office of Animal Welfare (OAW) announced the arrest Wednesday, October 7, 2020, of a Laurel woman for animal cruelty. Leona Long, 75, was arraigned in JP Court 3 in Georgetown on 77 charges, including 35 counts of cruel neglect, 35 counts of failure to obtain dog license, and seven counts for failure to vaccinate for rabies. Long was released on $37,000 unsecured bail and is prohibited from possession of domestic animals, excluding fowl and rabbits, pending a court hearing.

Last week, the OAW’s Delaware Animal Services (DAS) enforcement unit responded to a complaint concerning the welfare of animals on the Laurel property. DAS executed a search warrant to enter the property, where officers discovered 35 hound dogs living in inhumane, filthy conditions in kennels covered in feces and on tethers throughout the owner’s property.

“It was obvious the animals had been neglected for some time, and suffered tremendously as a result,” said Mark Tobin, Chief of DAS. “To see their tails wag despite such a miserable environment is incredible. These dogs now have a fighting chance for a better future.”

The animals were transferred into the custody of the Brandywine Valley SPCA, the state’s contracted shelter provider, where they have been receiving care and treatment for eye infections, foot and ear injuries, and malnourishment. The dogs range in age from 6 months to 9 years, and will be put up for adoption.

To report animal cruelty in Delaware, call DAS at 302-255-4646.

Note: A photo of Leona Long is not available.

A person who is deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind or speech-disabled can call the DPH phone number above by using TTY services. Dial 7-1-1 or 800-232-5460 to type your conversation to a relay operator, who reads your conversation to a hearing person at DPH. The relay operator types the hearing person’s spoken words back to the TTY user. To learn more about TTY availability in Delaware, visit http://delawarerelay.com.

The Delaware Department of Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware’s citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations. DPH, a division of DHSS, urges Delawareans to make healthier choices with the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day, have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, gaming), get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day, and drink almost no sugary beverages.


Delawareans Have More Options When Disposing of Unwanted Medications

DOVER (Oct. 6, 2020) — Delawareans now have more options when it comes to keeping their unused medications out of the wrong hands.

In the last year, seven new permanent prescription drug drop boxes have been added to the state’s existing locations, boosting the statewide count to 28. The drop boxes are available year-round.

There are 10 permanent drop box sites in New Castle County, seven in Kent County and 11 in Sussex County. Statewide, there are prescription drug drop boxes inside 10 pharmacies, one behavioral health center, and the remainder are located in the lobbies of town or city police agencies.

“Now more than ever, while people are spending more time at home and are facing a great amount of stress, it is important to properly dispose of unwanted medications,” said Division of Public Health (DPH) Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. “Studies show that most opioid addictions start with a prescription. These same studies show us that more than half of the people who misused these prescriptions received them from a friend or family member. You can save lives by simply taking your unused medications to a secure drop box location.”

Disposing of unused medications at safe drop box sites can save lives and, in many cases, can prevent addiction before it even begins.

According to the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, prescription pain reliever misuse was the second most common form of illicit drug use in the United States. Other studies show that prescription drugs such as benzodiazepines, often used for anxiety, and stimulants also are also frequently misused.

More than half of the people who misused pain relievers obtained them from a friend or family member, according to the report “Key Substance Use and Mental Health in The United States: Results from the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.”

The need to secure opioid prescriptions medication is even more pressing in Delaware because it has the highest rate of high-dose and long-acting/extended release opioid prescriptions written in the nation, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Medical providers have written 60.6 opioid prescriptions for every 100 Delaware residents, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).

Delaware also has the second-highest rate of overdose deaths in the nation, according to the CDC. In 2018, 400 people died from a drug overdose in Delaware, according to the Delaware Division of Forensic Science. Eighty-eight percent of those deaths involved an opioid, according to NIDA.

As of October 2, 2020, 276 people are suspected to have died from a drug overdose in Delaware, according to the Delaware Division of Forensic Science.

Properly discarding prescription medications at secure drop box locations — particularly opioid prescriptions — can keep these medications from being stolen, misused, or out of the hands of small children and animals who may accidentally be poisoned by them.

Proper disposal at drop box locations also protects Delaware’s groundwater from contamination that occurs when medications are flushed down the toilet.

The 28 permanent prescription drug drop box locations are listed below by county. Check in with each location, as some have implemented COVID-19-related restrictions.

New Castle County

Newark Police Dept. 220 S. Main St. Newark, DE 19711

New Castle County Police Dept. 3601 N. DuPont Hwy. New Castle, DE 19720

Wilmington Police Dept. 300 N. Walnut St. Wilmington, DE 19801

Walgreens 1120 Pulaski Hwy. Bear, DE 19701

Walgreens 6317 Limestone Road Hockessin, DE 19707

Walgreens 2119 Concord Pike Wilmington, DE 19803

CVS Pharmacy 1545 Pulaski Hwy. Bear, DE 19701

CVS Pharmacy 4020 Concord Pike Wilmington, DE 19803

University of Delaware Police Dept. 413 Academy St. Newark, DE 19716

Rite Aid 2034 New Castle Ave. New Castle, DE 19720

Kent County

Dover Police Dept. 400 S. Queen St. Dover, DE 19904

Smyrna Police Dept. 325 W. Glenwood Ave. Smyrna, DE 19977

Felton Police Dept. 24 E. Sewell St. Felton, DE 19943

Camden Police Dept. 1783 Friends Way Camden, DE 19934

Harrington Police Dept. 20 Mechanic St. Harrington, DE 19952

Milford Police Dept. 400 NE Front St. Milford, DE 19963

Walgreens 1001 Forrest Ave. Dover, DE 19904

Sussex County

Selbyville Police Dept. 68 W. Church St. Selbyville, DE 19975

Greenwood Police Dept. 100 W. Market St. Greenwood, DE 19950

Ocean View Police Dept. 201 Central Ave. Ocean View, DE 19970

Georgetown Police Dept. 335 N. Race St. Georgetown, DE 19947

Laurel Police Dept. 205 Mechanic St. Laurel, DE 19956

Delmar Police Dept. 400 S. Pennsylvania Ave. Delmar, MD 21875

Walgreens 17239 Five Points Square Lewes, DE 19958

Walgreens 22898 Sussex Hwy. Seaford, DE 19973

CVS Pharmacy 17229 N. Village Main Blvd. Lewes, DE 19958

SUN Behavioral Health Delaware 21655 Biden Ave. Georgetown, DE 19947

Millsboro Police Dept. 307 Main St. Millsboro, DE 19966

For further information on addiction recognition, prevention and treatment, visit www.helpisherede.com.

A person who is deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind or speech-disabled can call the DPH phone number above by using TTY services. Dial 7-1-1 or 800-232-5460 to type your conversation to a relay operator, who reads your conversation to a hearing person at DPH. The relay operator types the hearing person’s spoken words back to the TTY user. To learn more about TTY availability in Delaware, visit http://delawarerelay.com.

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware’s citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations. DPH, a division of DHSS, urges Delawareans to make healthier choices with the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day, have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, gaming), get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day, and drink almost no sugary beverages.