Public Health Announces 157 Additional Positive Cases, 6 New Deaths

SMYRNA (May 20, 2020) – The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) is announcing six additional fatalities related to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and is providing an update on the number of positive cases and recovered individuals. All data reported through the daily updates are based on data received as of 6 p.m. the previous day.

In total, 310 Delawareans have passed away due to complications from COVID-19. Individuals who have died from COVID-19 ranged in age from 21 to 103 years old. Of those who have died, 161 were females and 149 were males. A total of 138 individuals were from New Castle County, 55 were from Kent County, 116 were from Sussex County, and one individual’s county of residence is unknown at this time.

The most recent deaths announced today ranged in age from 60 to 90. Three were female and three were male. Three were New Castle County residents, two were Kent County residents, and one was a Sussex County resident. Five of the individuals had underlying health conditions. Three of the individuals were residents of long-term care facilities.

To protect personal health information, DPH will not confirm specific information about any individual case, even if other persons or entities disclose it independently.
The latest Delaware COVID-19 case statistics* cumulatively since March 11, provided as of 6 p.m., Tuesday, May 19, include:

• 8,194 total positive cases
• New Castle County cases: 2,933
• Kent County cases: 1,253
• Sussex County cases: 3,960
• Unknown County: 48
• Females: 4,492; Males: 3,675; Unknown: 27
• Age range: 0 to 103
• Currently hospitalized: 220; Critically ill: 35 (This data represents individuals currently hospitalized in a Delaware hospital regardless of residence, and is not cumulative.)
• Delawareans recovered: 3,965
• 37,218 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.

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.

Significant statewide expansion of the state’s COVID-19 testing program, in partnership with Delaware’s hospital systems, community health care centers, primary care providers, and long-term care facilities will allow the State of Delaware to conduct 80,000 tests monthly.

The State of Delaware will be holding two drive-thru saliva-based COVID-19 testing events this week. Prior to attending, watch the following videos available in English and Spanish to learn about how to perform the test, in English: de.gov/testing, in Spanish: de.gov/pruebas. Please do not eat, drink, or brush your teeth 20 minutes prior to the test.

• Thursday, May 21 – Middletown High School
10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Middletown High School, 120 Silver Lake Road, Middletown. Pre-register at delaware.curativeinc.com to reserve your place and reduce wait time. Limited on-site registration will be available. (Link may work best in Firefox, Chrome, and Edge)

• Sunday, May 24 – Dover DMV
10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, May 24, at the Dover DMV, 303 Transportation Circle, Dover. Pre-register at delaware.curativeinc.com to reserve your place and reduce wait time. Limited on-site registration will be available. (Link may work best in Firefox, Chrome, and Edge)

As additional testing sites are scheduled, more information will be provided on the testing section of the Delaware coronavirus website at: https://coronavirus.delaware.gov/testing/.

Delaware is considering patients fully recovered seven days after the resolution of their symptoms. Three days after symptoms resolve, patients are no longer required to self-isolate at home; however, they must continue to practice strict social distancing for the remaining four days before returning to their normal daily routine.

If you are sick with any of the following symptoms, stay home: fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, muscle fatigue, chills, shaking with chills, loss of smell or taste. Other symptoms such as headache or digestive symptoms (vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain or lack of appetite) have been identified as potential symptoms related to COVID-19 and may prompt further screening, action or investigation. 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.

The hospital systems in Delaware continue to offer testing through standing health facility testing sites. These testing sites require a physician’s order or prescription to be tested (*Bayhealth patients will be pre-screened via phone without needing to see a provider first). These are not walk-in testing sites. Those without a primary care provider can call the DPH Call Center Line at 1-866-408-1899. In New Castle County, individuals can call ChristianaCare at 1-302-733-1000 and Sussex County residents who do not have a provider can call the Beebe COVID-19 Screening Line at 302-645-3200. Individuals awaiting test results should wait to hear back from their medical provider. The DPH Call Center does not have test results.

Anyone with a question about COVID-19, whether related to medical or social service needs, should call Delaware 2-1-1, or email info@delaware211.org. 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. Medical-related questions related to testing, symptoms, and health-related guidance can also be submitted by email at DPHCall@delaware.gov.

People who have complaints about out-of-state individuals violating the Governor’s State of Emergency Order, or violating the public gathering restrictions, should contact state or local law enforcement. Questions or complaints about business operations should be directed to: Business@delaware.gov. Questions regarding unemployment claims should be emailed to: UIClaims@delaware.gov.

In addition, the Division of Public Health 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.


Delaware Public Health Announces 199 Additional Positive Cases, 7 New Deaths

SMYRNA (May 18, 2020) – The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) is announcing seven additional fatalities related to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and is providing an update on the number of positive cases and recovered individuals. All data reported through the daily updates are based on data received as of 6 p.m. the previous day.

In total, 297 Delawareans have passed away due to complications from COVID-19. Individuals who have died from COVID-19 ranged in age from 21 to 103 years old. Of those who have died, 155 were females and 142 were males. A total of 130 individuals were from New Castle County, 52 were from Kent County, 114 were from Sussex County, and one individual’s county of residence is unknown at this time.

The most recent deaths announced today ranged in age from 60 to 89. Three were female and four were male. Six were New Castle County residents, and one was a Sussex County resident. Six of the individuals had underlying health conditions. Three of the individuals were residents of long-term care facilities.

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

The latest Delaware COVID-19 case statistics* cumulatively since March 11, provided as of 6 p.m., Sunday, May 17, include:

  • 7,869 total positive cases
  • New Castle County cases: 2,738
  • Kent County cases: 1,219
  • Sussex County cases: 3,861
  • Unknown County: 51
  • Females: 4,313; Males: 3,532; Unknown: 24
  • Age range: 0 to 103
  • Currently hospitalized: 240; Critically ill: 39 (This data represents individuals currently hospitalized in a Delaware hospital regardless of residence, and is not cumulative.)
  • Delawareans recovered: 3,545
  • 34,589 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.

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.

As part of Delaware’s expanded statewide testing program, the state will be holding two drive-thru saliva-based COVID-19 testing events this week. Prior to attending, watch the following videos available in English and Spanish to learn about how to perform the test, in English: de.gov/testing, in Spanish: de.gov/pruebas. Please do not eat, drink, or brush your teeth 20 minutes prior to this viral test. Pre-registration at the below links is strongly encouraged.

Thursday, May 21 – Middletown High School
10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Middletown High School, 120 Silver Lake Road, Middletown. Pre-register at delaware.curativeinc.com to reserve your place and reduce wait time. Limited on-site registration will be available.

Sunday, May 24 – Dover DMV
10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, May 24, at the Dover DMV, 303 Transportation Circle, Dover. Pre-register at delaware.curativeinc.com to reserve your place and reduce wait time. Limited on-site registration will be available.

As additional testing sites are scheduled, more information will be provided on the testing section of the Delaware coronavirus website at: https://coronavirus.delaware.gov/testing/.

Delaware is considering patients fully recovered seven days after the resolution of their symptoms. Three days after symptoms resolve, patients are no longer required to self-isolate at home; however, they must continue to practice strict social distancing for the remaining four days before returning to their normal daily routine.

If you are sick with any of the following symptoms, stay home: fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, muscle fatigue, chills, shaking with chills, loss of smell or taste. Other symptoms such as headache or digestive symptoms (vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain or lack of appetite) have been identified as potential symptoms related to COVID-19 and may prompt further screening, action or investigation. 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.

The hospital systems in Delaware continue to offer testing through standing health facility testing sites. These testing sites require a physician’s order or prescription to be tested (*Bayhealth patients will be pre-screened via phone without needing to see a provider first). These are not walk-in testing sites. Those without a primary care provider can call the DPH Call Center Line at 1-866-408-1899. In New Castle County, individuals can call ChristianaCare at 1-302-733-1000 and Sussex County residents who do not have a provider can call the Beebe COVID-19 Screening Line at 302-645-3200. Individuals awaiting test results should wait to hear back from their medical provider. The DPH Call Center does not have test results.

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. Medical-related questions can also be submitted by email at DPHCall@delaware.gov.

In addition, the Division of Public Health 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.


DPH to Hold Public Workshop On Solicitation of Water Infrastructure Improvement Projects

DOVER – The Division of Public Health’s Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) will host a public workshop Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020, to present and discuss the Assistance for Small and Disadvantaged Communities Drinking Water Grant, authorized under the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act. The workshop begins at 9:00 a.m., and will be held at the Edgehill Shopping Center, 43 South DuPont Highway, Dover, DE 19904.

The grant program’s objective is to assist public water systems in underserved, small and disadvantaged communities in meeting Safe Drinking Water Act requirements. Workshop participants will learn about the funding opportunity, state and federal requirements, eligible projects, and the competitive grant application process.

Eligible activities for assistance include:
• Investments necessary for a public water system in a small, disadvantaged, or underserved community to return to compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act
• Efforts that benefit a disadvantaged community on a per household basis
• Programs to provide household water quality testing, including testing for unregulated contaminants
• Activities necessary and appropriate for a state to respond to a contaminant

Small or disadvantaged communities are defined as communities with populations of less than 10,000 individuals, or communities that do not have the capacity to incur debt sufficient to finance a project or eligible activity and may become disadvantaged as a result of carrying out an eligible activity.

Grant applications of up to $609,000 will be considered. Projects will be solicited starting February 20, 2020, and are due by March 31, 2020.

For more information about the workshop or the grant, contact Heather Warren, Drinking Water State Revolving Fund Administrator, at 302-744-4739, or visit https://www.epa.gov/dwcapacity/wiin-grant-assistance-small-and-disadvantaged-communities-drinking-water-grant.

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 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.


DPH Reminds Delawareans to Get Their Flu Vaccines as it Announces First Flu-Related Deaths of 2019-2020 Season

DOVER – The Division of Public Health (DPH) is reminding Delawareans to protect themselves and those around them this influenza season by getting vaccinated as DPH announces the first two flu-related deaths of the 2019-2020 flu season. A 68-year-old woman infected with influenza A, and a 65-year-old man infected with influenza B, passed away this week as a result of complications from the flu. Both individuals were Sussex County residents and both had underlying health conditions.

As of Dec. 28, 2019, the most recent date for which flu statistics are available, there have been 1,083 laboratory-confirmed cases of the flu in Delaware. This number reflects only the number of lab-confirmed cases; the actual number of cases circulating statewide is likely much higher as not all people with the flu seek treatment, and many cases are diagnosed through rapid test kits in a provider’s office versus a lab. In addition, 65 people have been hospitalized with flu-like symptoms since the start of the flu season. During the week of Dec. 22 to Dec. 28, 2019, there were 470 new lab-confirmed cases, the highest increase in a single week since the start of the flu season on October 1, 2019. During the same time last year, there was a total of 681 lab-confirmed cases of flu statewide, including 140 hospitalizations.

“The deaths of these two Delawareans is a tragic reminder of how dangerous the flu can be, particularly to individuals who already have weakened immune systems,” said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. “Our hearts go out to the family and friends of the deceased, as well as those still battling the flu. We continue to encourage Delawareans to get their flu vaccines and make sure everyone in their family gets theirs, too. The vaccine will lower your likelihood of getting the flu and can lessen the severity of your symptoms if you do catch it. You should also be sure to take any antiviral medicines that your primary care provider prescribes.”

In addition to getting a flu vaccine and taking antiviral medication as directed, DPH recommends that you:
• Practice social distancing by keeping your distance from well people if you have cold or flu-like symptoms.
• Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
• Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, and dispose of tissues immediately; if no tissue is available, cough or sneeze into your inner elbow.

Social distancing means that those sick with the flu should stay home from work, school, and other gatherings and not return until they have been free of fever – with a temperature less than 100 degrees F (37.8 degrees C) without the use of fever-reducing medications – for at least 24 hours. They should avoid close contact with well people in the household and stay well-hydrated by drinking plenty of water and other clear liquids. Over-the-counter medicines can provide symptom relief, but if you suspect you have influenza, call your primary care provider as he or she may decide to provide antiviral medications to help hasten recovery and prevent serious complications. This is particularly important for those who feel very sick, are pregnant or have chronic medical conditions.

Flu symptoms come on suddenly, and include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headaches and body aches, chills and fatigue. Some people get complications including pneumonia, bronchitis, and sinus and ear infections. People with pre-existing health conditions such as diabetes and asthma are more susceptible to catching the flu.

Flu vaccines are still available at many pharmacies and grocery stores, and through primary care physicians and some specialists. To find participating stores, enter your ZIP code in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s flu vaccine finder at www.cdc.gov/flu/. Flu shots continue to be available at DPH clinics located within the Department of Health and Social Services’ State Service Centers:
• Porter State Service Center, 509 W. Eighth St., Wilmington. For all ages 9 and up. Walk-ins are welcome Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to noon and from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
• Hudson State Service Center, 501 Ogletown Road, Newark. For all ages, including children age 6 months and older. Call 302-283-7587 (choose Option 2) to make an appointment Monday through Friday.
• Williams State Service Center, 805 River Road, Dover. For all ages, including children age 6 months and older. Call 302-857-5140 to make an appointment Monday through Thursday, 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
• Milford State Service Center – Riverwalk, 253 N.E. Front St., Milford. For ages 9 years and older. Mondays and Fridays. Walk-ins are accepted on Mondays from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. By appointment only on Fridays from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Call 302-424-7130 to make an appointment.
• Anna C. Shipley State Service Center, 350 Virginia Ave., Seaford. For all ages, including children age 6 months and older. Walk-ins welcome Monday through Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
• Adams State Service Center, 544 S. Bedford St., Georgetown. For all ages, including children age 6 months and older. Walk-ins welcome on Mondays only from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

For more information about the flu, visit flu.delaware.gov/ or call DPH at 1-800-282-8672.

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 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.


DPH Advises Delaware Residents of Multi-State Salmonella Outbreak Involving Turkey Products

 

Image credit: FDA. Thermometer in cooked turkey

DOVER – The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) is advising Delawareans of a multi-state outbreak of Salmonella Reading infections linked to raw turkey products. According to the CDC, 164 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Reading have been reported in 35 states, including one person in Delaware. Of the cases reported nationally, 63 people have been hospitalized. No Delawareans have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported from Delaware. One death was reported from California.

The CDC says the outbreak strain has been identified in samples taken from raw turkey pet food, raw turkey products and live turkeys. Of the 85 people interviewed, 44 (52 percent) reported preparing or eating turkey products that were purchased raw, including ground turkey, turkey pieces and whole turkey. People who were ill reported buying many different brands of raw turkey products from multiple stores. Additionally, three of the 85 people who were interviewed said they became sick after pets in their home ate raw ground turkey pet food. Another three people interviewed worked in a facility that raises or processes turkeys, or lived with someone who did.

A single, common supplier of raw turkey products or of live turkeys has not been identified. As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday period, the CDC is not advising consumers to avoid eating properly cooked turkey, and is not advising retailers to stop selling raw turkey products. However, individuals should follow these steps to help prevent Salmonella infection from raw turkey:

  • Always handle raw turkey carefully and cook it thoroughly to prevent food poisoning. This outbreak is a reminder that raw turkey can have germs that spread around food preparation areas and will make you sick.
  • Wash your hands. Salmonella infections can spread from one person to another if hands have Salmonella germs on them. Wash hands before and after preparing or eating food, after contact with animals, and after using the restroom or changing diapers.
  • Cook raw turkey thoroughly to kill harmful germs. Turkey breasts, whole turkeys, and ground poultry, including turkey burgers, casseroles, and sausage, should always be cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F to kill harmful germs. Leftovers should be reheated to 165°F. Use a food thermometer to check, and place it in the thickest part of the food.
  • Don’t spread germs from raw turkey around food preparation areas. Washing raw poultry before cooking is not recommended. Germs in raw poultry juices can spread to other areas and foods. Thoroughly wash hands, counters, cutting boards, and utensils with warm, soapy water after they are touched by raw turkey. Use a separate cutting board for raw turkey and other raw meats if possible.
  • CDC does not recommend feeding raw diets to pets. Germs like Salmonella in raw pet food can make your pets sick. Your family also can get sick by handling the raw food or by taking care of your pet.
  • Thaw turkey (https://www.cdc.gov/features/turkeytime/index.html) in the refrigerator, in a sink of cold water that is changed every 30 minutes, or in the microwave. Never thaw your turkey by leaving it out on the counter.

Most people with Salmonella infections develop diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps 12 to 72 hours after being exposed to the bacteria. The illness usually lasts four to seven days, and most people recover without treatment. Children younger than 5, adults older than 65, and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to have severe illness.

People who experience these symptoms should seek medical attention.

For more information about this outbreak, visit https://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/reading-07-18/index.html . For more information about preventing Salmonella infection, visit https://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/general/prevention.html.

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 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.