Gov. Carney, DPH Announce 750 Vaccines Administered First Week, Share First Vaccinations, Prepare Moderna Distribution

DOVER (Dec. 18, 2020) – Since the first pre-ordered doses of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine were delivered on Monday, Dec. 14, 750 vaccines have been administered to health care staff at the State’s six health systems and three sites of one long-term care organization. On Thursday, Delaware became one of the first states in the nation to offer vaccines to enrolled long-term health care workers. State officials strongly encourage people to get the vaccine as it becomes available to them under the vaccine’s phased rollout.

The 750 vaccines administered are current as of Friday at noon. The numbers of those vaccinated continue to change rapidly as more frontline workers receive the vaccine and not all reporting is completed in real-time. Up-to-date vaccine totals are expected to be posted at de.gov/healthycommunity in the coming days.

“Our frontline health care workers continue to lead by example, and I want to thank all of those Delawareans who rolled up their sleeves this week and received the vaccine,” said Governor Carney. “Your hard work and leadership will get us through this crisis. As our health care workers know, we continue to face a winter surge of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. Let’s all do our part, and do what works. Wear a mask. Don’t gather with friends or family outside your household. Stay vigilant.”

“We are so grateful to the health care community for embracing the arrival of this vaccine,” said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. “You are leading the way and demonstrating the importance of taking the vaccine to your friends, family and patients.”

Some of the first Delaware health care workers to receive the vaccine this first week were:

  • Elisabeth Cote, a progressive care unit nurse at Bayhealth’s Kent County campus, was the first health care worker in Delaware to receive the vaccine.
  • Sintia Rodriguez, a nurse at Beebe Healthcare’s emergency department and behavioral health unit, was the first health care worker in Sussex County to receive the vaccine.
  • Kathleen Bonis, RRT, a respiratory therapist with ChristianaCare.
  • Aaron Weaver, MD, a family practice doctor, was the first to receive the vaccine at Saint Francis Healthcare in New Castle County.
  • Vickie Freeman BS, RN, CPN, Department of Pediatrics at Nemours duPont Hospital for Children.
  • Joseph Kim, D.O., a primary care provider with TidalHealth Nanticoke
  • Lisa Wullschleger, Advanced Practice Nurse from Porter State Service Center in Wilmington, Division of Public Health Clinic
  • Warren Burke, executive director at Silver Lake Center, Genesis HealthCare in Dover, was the first long-term care staff member to receive the vaccine; Center Nursing Executive, Kerri Watson, RN, was the first at Genesis Milford Center to receive the vaccine.

DPH, which is coordinating the state’s vaccine distribution efforts, expects to receive an additional 2,925 doses of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine next week, with additional supply being set aside through the federal long-term care/pharmacy program partnership.

DPH also is preparing for the expected U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). The FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) met on Thursday and voted to approve Moderna’s EUA request, which would allow vaccination for ages 18 and older. The FDA and the CDC’s Advisory Committee are also expected to vote Friday night and Saturday, respectively. Should they approve the request, DPH expects to receive 16,700 doses of the Moderna vaccine within days of the approval, which will go to hospitals, EMS, Health Centers such as La Red Medical Center, Westside Family Health and Henrietta Johnson Medical Center, DPH clinics, and others to continue to vaccinate staff.

The FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are advising women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, individuals who have experienced allergic reactions to other vaccines and those who have compromised immune systems to discuss the benefits and risks of taking the vaccine with their medical provider before receiving it.

The potential side effects from the vaccine are similar to those experienced by people who receive the flu shot: soreness at the injection site, fever, headaches, and body aches that usually go away within 24 hours. Unless symptoms worsen or linger, there is no need to seek medical care. Pfizer reported no serious side effects from the vaccine, and there were no deaths directly linked to the vaccine itself. The FDA and CDC will continue to monitor the COVID-19 vaccine for safety and effectiveness and any long-term or rare side effects.

DPH has set up a Vaccine Call Center at 302-672-6150. People who are deaf and hard of hearing should call 2-1-1 or text their ZIP code to 898-211. Individuals can email their questions concerning the vaccine to Vaccine@Delaware.gov and visit de.gov/covidvaccine for more information.


COVID-19 Vaccine Update: DPH Receives Ultra-Cold Storage Unit, Finalizes Recommendations on Initial Allocation

DOVER (Dec. 9, 2020) – The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) announced that the shipment of an ultra-cold storage unit arrived at the DPH warehouse on Tuesday, Dec. 8. The storage unit will be used to safely store Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, which requires controlled storage at an ultra-cold temperature of -70 degrees Celsius (-94 degrees Fahrenheit).

The State could begin receiving initial doses of vaccine as early as next week if the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine receives emergency use authorization in the coming days.

The Thermo Scientific Revco ultra-cold storage unit from Fisher Scientific has the capacity to hold nearly 300,000 doses of vaccine. This unit will allow storage of the Pfizer vaccine without the need for dry ice exchange, giving additional flexibility for vaccine distribution within the state.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), vaccine with ultra-cold storage requirements will be shipped directly from the manufacturer in sealed coolers that are packed with dry ice.

Vaccine providers can reference the CDC Vaccine Storage and Handling Toolkit that has been updated with a COVID-19 Vaccine Addendum. The addendum provides information, recommendations, and resources to assist COVID-19 vaccination providers in properly storing and handling COVID-19 vaccines: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/admin/storage/toolkit/index.html

Also on Tuesday, the State’s Ethics Advisory Group met to consider the Division of Public Health’s most recent recommendations regarding which specific groups should receive the vaccine as part of the first phase of distribution in Delaware. DPH makes its recommendations based on the goals of reducing death and hospitalization from COVID-19, protecting critical health services provided by hospitals and other medical staff, while also reducing the burden of disease on those who face disparities.

Phase 1A of the state’s distribution plan, as approved by the Ethics Advisory Group and finalized by DPH, include residents of long-term care facilities and high-risk workers with routine exposure to infected individuals or materials in health or patient care settings. This includes the following:

• Hospital staff
• Emergency Medical Service providers who have direct patient contact
• Public Health staff who have direct patient contact
• Health care providers in outpatient settings
• Pharmacy staff
• Staff of long-term care facilities

DPH and the Ethics Advisory Group will continue to monitor recommendations from the federal Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) for further recommendations regarding subsequent phases. Additional details will be shared as decisions are finalized.

DPH has also posted the most updated version of its framework (or Playbook) for vaccine distribution on the de.gov/covidvaccine website, and added a section on Vaccine Safety.

DPH will continue to update the public as more information becomes available. For additional information about COVID-19 vaccine planning in Delaware, visit de.gov/covidvaccine. For the latest on Delaware’s response, go to de.gov/coronavirus.

 


OAW Announces Arrest in Camden Animal Cruelty Case

CAMDEN (Sept. 29, 2020) — Officers from the Division of Public Health (DPH) Office of Animal Welfare (OAW) arrested a Camden-Wyoming woman on Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020, in connection to a recent animal cruelty case in which 184 animals were seized from a residence in the Camden area. Linda Favre, 65, was arraigned on 19 charges, including animal cruelty. She was released on her own recognizance pending a court hearing with the condition that she may not own or possess any animals until the case outcome is determined.

The arrest comes after a case of animal cruelty was discovered last week by the Office of Animal Welfare’s Delaware Animal Services (DAS) unit, which enforces statewide animal control and cruelty laws. Acting on a tip, officers responded to investigate. DAS obtained and executed a search warrant to enter the property where animal welfare officers found 182 cats and one dog living in deplorable conditions. One deceased cat was also removed from the residence. Two additional cats have subsequently died.

The animals were taken into custody by Brandywine Valley SPCA (BVSPCA), the state’s contracted shelter provider, where they received clean housing, nourishment, and medical care. Many cats suffered from conditions associated with neglect, such as malnourishment, skin issues from flea infestation, and upper respiratory infections.

This is the largest animal cruelty case OAW has handled since taking over animal cruelty enforcement at the state level in 2016, and it is one of the largest in state history.

“The conditions these animals were subjected to were horrid,” said DAS Chief Mark Tobin. “No animal should live like that, and unfortunately, three cats lost their lives as a result. We are grateful that this was reported so that action could be taken. We feel good knowing the animals are in good hands, and will not suffer any longer.”

According to BVSPCA, one dog and 118 cats have been placed for adoption or transferred to another shelter or rescue organization’s adoption program. Sixty-one cats remain available for adoption across the four BVSPCA campuses.

“If you’re considering adoption, I encourage you to visit a BVSPCA shelter near you,” said OAW Executive Director Christina Motoyoshi. “You can make a huge difference in the life of a cat that was once so neglected.”

The public is reminded to report animal cruelty to Delaware Animal Services at 302-255-4646.

Note: A photo of Linda Favre is not available.

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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.


Weekly COVID-19 Update: DPH Continues to Announce New Cases, Recoveries, and Deaths; Decline in Hospitalizations

DOVER (July 31, 2020) – The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) is providing an update on the most recent statistics related to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Delaware, as of 6 p.m. Thursday, July 30, 2020.

A total of 14,788 positive cases of COVID-19 among Delaware residents have been reported to DPH since March 11, 2020, including 8,179 individuals who are considered recovered. In addition, 46 individuals are currently hospitalized due to COVID-19 in Delaware down from 55 reported as of last Friday’s update. Eleven of the hospitalized persons are critically ill.

The Division of Public Health has recently shifted to providing a seven-day average of the percentage of persons who tested positive rather than a five-day rolling average. The seven-day average remained the same from 4.3% as of July 23 to 4.3% as of Thursday, July 30.

A total of 585 Delawareans have passed away due to complications from COVID-19. The state reported seven additional deaths since last week’s update. Three deaths were identified through ongoing reviews of death certificate records, leaving four deaths which actually occurred in the past week. The total number of individuals who have died from COVID-19 ranged in age from 21 to 104 years old. Of those who have died, 313 were females and 272 were males. A total of 287 individuals were from New Castle County, 107 were from Kent County, and 191 were from Sussex County.

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

Additional Updates:
On June 19, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advised consumers not to use any hand sanitizers manufactured by “Eskbiochem SA de CV” in Mexico, because of the potential presence of methanol, a toxic alcohol that can cause blindness and/or death when swallowed or possibly absorbed through the skin. Since then, the FDA has identified several more alcohol-based hand sanitizers or rubs that contain methanol and is working with manufacturers and distributors on a voluntary recall of these products: https://www.fda.gov/drugs/drug-safety-and-availability/fda-updates-hand-sanitizers-methanol.

Adverse health effects related to methanol poisoning can include the following:
• Headache
• Blurred vision
• Nausea
• Vomiting
• Abdominal pain
• Loss of coordination
• Decreased level of consciousness
• Visual impairment or blindness
• Death

New Curative Inc. Text Service – Beginning this week, those tested through Delaware’s community saliva-based testing events, will be able to receive results via text as well as email when an email address is provided. This enhanced service from Curative Inc. will reduce the time for those who do not provide an email address when registering, to receive their test results.

Additional COVID-19 cases to be added to My Healthy Community: Over the weekend, those viewing Delaware COVID-19 statistics will notice what may appear to be a cumulative increase of 20 new positive cases. These cases were identified through late submissions of lab reports this week. The positive cases occurred between the second week in July and this week. While the cumulative number of positive cases will rise by 20 either Saturday or Sunday, they did not all occur in one day.

Delaware COVID-19 data:
The latest Delaware COVID-19 case statistics* cumulatively since March 11, provided as of 6 p.m., Thursday, July 30, include:

• 14,788 total positive cases
• New Castle County cases: 6,794
• Kent County cases: 2,167
• Sussex County cases: 5,608
• Unknown County: 219
• Females: 8,162; Males: 6,602; Unknown Sex: 24
• Age range: 0 to 104
• Currently hospitalized: 46; Critically ill: 11 (This data represents individuals currently hospitalized in a Delaware hospital regardless of residence, and is not cumulative.)
• Delawareans recovered: 8,179
• 166,259 negative cases**
*Data are provisional and subject to change.
**Data on negative cases are preliminary, based on negative results reported to DPH by state and commercial laboratories performing analysis.

CDC recently updated its guidance related to discontinuation of self-isolation, therefore DPH has updated its guidance related to recovery. Generally, Delaware is now considering patients recovered after at least 24 hours have passed since the resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and/or improvement in symptoms, and at least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared. Individuals who tested positive who have not had any symptoms are considered recovered after at least 10 days have passed since the date of their first positive COVID-19 test with no subsequent illness.

Long-term Care Statistics:
Information related to positive cases and deaths among residents at long-term care facilities will be updated weekly each Friday, using information reported as of 6 p.m. Thursday. There have been a total of 1,193 positive COVID-19 cases cumulatively involving long-term care residents, and 361 residents of Delaware long-term care facilities have died from complications related to COVID-19. Note: The total number of deaths among long-term care residents was updated since last Friday to account for five additional individuals who were since identified as residents of long-term care facilities.

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

• Atlantic Shores Rehabilitation and Health Center, Millsboro (17)
• Brackenville Center, Genesis Healthcare, Hockessin (17)
• Brandywine Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Wilmington (34)
• Brandywine Living at Seaside Pointe, Rehoboth Beach (2)
• Cadia Healthcare Broadmeadow, Middletown (10)
• Cadia Healthcare Capitol, Dover (12)
• Cadia Healthcare Renaissance, Millsboro (6)
• Cadia Healthcare North Wilmington/Silverside, Wilmington (4)
• Delaware Hospital for the Chronically Ill, Smyrna (11)
• Governor Bacon Health Center, Delaware City (1)
• HarborChase of Wilmington, Wilmington (4)
• Harbor Healthcare and Rehabilitation, Lewes (20)
• Harrison House Senior Living, Georgetown (40)
• Hillside Center, Wilmington (3)
• Little Sisters of the Poor, Newark (11)
• ManorCare Health Services, Wilmington (13)
• ManorCare Health Services, Pike Creek (20)
• Methodist Country House, Wilmington (4)
• Millcroft, Newark (2)
• Milford Center, Genesis Healthcare, Milford (35)
• New Castle Health and Rehabilitation Center, New Castle (11)
• Newark Manor Nursing Home, Newark (11)
• Parkview Nursing and Rehabilitation, Wilmington (26)
• Pinnacle Rehabilitation and Health Center, Smyrna (24)
• Regal Heights Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, Hockessin (5)
• Summit Assisted Living, Hockessin (3)
• Sunrise Assisted Living, Wilmington (2)
• Westminster Village, Dover (7)
• Six other New Castle County long-term care facilities (1 death at each facility)

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

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

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

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 reopen should go to COVID19FAQ@delaware.gov.

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

In addition, DPH asks any Delaware health care, long-term care, residential, or other high-risk facility with questions or concerns to email: DPH_PAC@delaware.gov or call the DPH Call Center at 1-866-408-1899 and press ext. 2.

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


Office of Highway Safety Suspends SoberLift® Program for St. Patrick’s Day 2020

Office of Highway Safety Suspends SoberLift® Program for St. Patrick’s Day

*MEDIA ALERT*

March 15, 2020 

WHAT: The Delaware Office of Highway Safety (OHS) is suspending its SoberLift program as of 9 p.m. on Sunday, March 15, through Wednesday, March 18 at 2 a.m., statewide, due to growing concern for the health and safety of Delawareans and their families brought on by the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Ultimately this decision works to protect everyone’s health, prevent the spread of the virus and support our nation’s health system from becoming overwhelmed during this unprecedented situation.

OHS also wants to take this opportunity to encourage Delawareans to be vigilant with their health and that of their loved ones, elderly and vulnerable neighbors during this situation. Individuals can stay informed through the State of Delaware’s dedicated coronavirus website, www.DE.gov/coronavirus.

If you have questions about the coronavirus in Delaware, please contact the Division of Public Health Call Center at 1-866-408-1899 or email at DPHcall@delaware.gov. Hours of operation M-F 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sat-Sun 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The call center is open to take questions from the public, schools, medical providers, and community organizations. People with hearing impairments can dial 7-1-1.

WHERE: State of Delaware       

WHEN: Immediately

WHO: The Delaware Office of Highway Safety

            Lyft®

MORE: The program was set to run through Wednesday, March 18 at 2 a.m., providing free Lyft® vouchers* (maximum value of $15) for individuals who want a sober ride. For more information, please visit ohs.delaware.gov.

CONTACT: Cynthia Cavett (302-943-7293) or Jenn Buchman (215-806-1635)

SOCIAL MEDIA: Facebook (@highwaysafetyde); Twitter (@highwaysafetyDE); Instagram (highwaysafetyde); Snapchat (@highwaysafetyDE).

You can follow the Delaware Office of Highway Safety by clicking on:

Delaware Office of Highway Safety Web Site

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

About the Delaware Office of Highway Safety
The Office of Highway Safety (OHS) is committed to improving the safety of Delaware’s motoring public by focusing on behavioral traffic safety issues such as impaired driving, seat belt use, speeding, child passenger safety, pedestrian and bicycle safety, motorcycle safety, and teen driving issues. FAQs can be found at ArriveAliveDE.com.

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