Delaware Natural Resources Police Collect Toys as Holiday Gifts for Delaware Children

Santa with Delaware Natural Resources Police K-9 Rosco delivering Toys for Tots. DNREC photo.

 

DNREC Agencies Team Up for Toys for Tots Program

To kick off the holiday season, Delaware Natural Resources Police operating within the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control once again are teaming up with the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program to provide toys as gifts for children in local communities.

The Toys for Tots program collects new, unwrapped toys suitable for boys and girls of all ages and distributes the toys as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children in communities nationwide. Once more helping spearhead the holiday effort in Delaware are three enforcement agencies from within DNREC: Fish and Wildlife Delaware Natural Resources Police, Natural Resources Police Environmental Crimes Unit, and Natural Resources Police Park Rangers.

Toys will be accepted through Wednesday, Dec. 14 in Kent and Sussex counties and through Wednesday, Dec. 7 in New Castle County. Toys can be taken to the following drop-off locations which host Toys for Tots donation boxes:

  • All Delaware State Park offices statewide, including the Brandywine Zoo in Wilmington, and the First State National Historical Park in New Castle County, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Delaware Natural Resources Police office in Sussex County at 23530 Campbell Circle, Georgetown, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s Richardson & Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For more information – or for the dates and locations of upcoming events where toys also can be donated – contact officers listed below from the three Delaware Natural Resources Police units:

For more information, visit toysfortots.org. To donate toys locally or make local monetary donations online, visit Toys for Tots websites for New Castle, Kent or Sussex counties.

About DNREC
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 @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Joanna Wilson, joanna.wilson@delaware.gov; Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov


Wilmington Man Arrested After Lewdness and Indecent Exposure Incidents at First State National Historical Park

Following an investigation into two separate reports of women being followed by a man who engaged in lewd acts and indecent exposure on trails in the First State National Historical Park, Delaware Natural Resources Police State Park officers arrested Christopher S. Martin, 28, of Wilmington Wednesday, Aug. 31, on misdemeanor charges.

In late afternoon Aug. 16, a woman reported that a person on a park trail had exposed his genitals to her. Around the same time of day on Aug. 31, another woman reported being followed on a trail by a man she later saw putting his hand in his pants to commit a lewd act. She told police that upon returning to her vehicle to leave the area, she saw the same man getting into another vehicle. She was able to provide a description of that vehicle and a license plate number to Natural Resources Police State Park officers, who then obtained an arrest warrant for Martin on charges of lewdness.

During a formal interview after he was taken into custody, Martin admitted to having committed lewd acts toward the women on First State National Historical Park trails on Aug. 16 and 31. Martin was video-arraigned for the misdemeanor charges at Justice of the Peace Court #11. He was issued a no-contact order with both victims, and with the First State National Historical Park and all Delaware State Parks, and released on his own recognizance.

Delaware Natural Resources Police State Park officers routinely work with and assist National Park Rangers assigned to First State National Historical Park.

Defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a jury trial at which the State bears the burden of proving each charge beyond a reasonable doubt.

About DNREC
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. The DNREC Division of Parks and Recreation oversees more than 26,000 acres in 17 state parks and the Brandywine Zoo. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Captain John McDerby, john.mcderby@delaware.gov; Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov


DPH Announces Updates To Monkeypox Cases, Vaccine Access And Launch Of Public Health Alert Web Portal

DOVER, DE (Sept. 1, 2022) ­– The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) is announcing several Monkypox virus (MPX) updates including the launch of a Public Health Alert web portal providing access to an updated monkeypox web page. The website, which can be found at de.gov/PublicHealthAlerts, was created by the Department of State’s Government Information Center and is a central landing page from which to access individual web pages for COVID-19, MPX and flu. It is intended to highlight public health issues of elevated concern at the time. 

The updated MPX page, which can still be found at de.gov/monkeypox, provides information on the disease in a more user-friendly format. (COVID-19 information can also continue to be found at de.gov/coronavirus, and flu information at flu.delaware.gov).  The updated MPX site includes a separate section for medical providers seeking information and highlights the most current data related to cases. Delaware now has 25 total MPX cases in the state, which remains low compared to neighboring states which have hundreds. DPH will no longer issue press releases solely for case updates, as the data will be more frequently updated on the webpage. Delaware is taking action to continue to ensure the most at-risk persons are vaccinated against the virus.

Starting Sept. 5, DPH will expand access to the MPX vaccine to those who are immunocompromised.  Conditions may include, but are not necessarily limited to: those with cancer, solid organ or stem cell transplants, those taking immunosuppressive therapy, and individuals with autoimmune disease.

Additionally, DPH is pleased to announce that starting today, Newark Urgent Care began administering MPX vaccine to eligible individuals.  Vaccination is available by appointment only; visit NewarkUrgentCare.org to view eligibility requirements and schedule an appointment.  Vaccine clinics will be held on Thursdays and there is no cost for the vaccine.

Eligible persons also can be vaccinated at the following locations:

  • Beebe Healthcare: Individuals can schedule an appointment at beebehealthcare.org/online-scheduling. Walk-ins will not be accepted.
  • DPH clinics: Individuals should call the MPX hotline at 866-408-1899 for a screening evaluation. Walk-ins at DPH clinics will not be accepted. Monkeypox vaccinations at DPH clinics will continue to prioritize individuals at highest risk after a DPH evaluation: persons known or presumed to be exposed to someone with MPX in the last 14 days, and certain individuals who have sex with men and who have had multiple sex partners within the past 14 days. As a result, appointments may need to be scheduled a few days out.

Vaccines are available to those confirmed to have been exposed, or who are at higher risk of being exposed to the virus, as well as the immunocompromised, and those engaging in high-risk activities, including sexual practices, that increase exposure to MPX, such as: 

  • Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men and have had multiple, or any, anonymous sexual partners in a social network experiencing monkeypox activity, this includes meeting partners through an online website, digital application (“app”), or social event (e.g., a bar or party)
  • Transgender women or nonbinary persons assigned male at birth who have sex with men
  • Sex workers (of any sexual orientation/gender)
  • Staff (of any sexual orientation/gender) at establishments where sexual activity occurs (e.g., bathhouses, saunas, sex clubs)
  • Eligibility may be determined by the vaccinating provider and may include (but are not necessarily limited to): those with cancer, solid organ or stem cell transplants, those taking immunosuppressive therapy, and individuals with autoimmune disease.

Individuals should be aware that the vaccine, a two-dose series given 28 days apart, is not considered effective until two weeks after the second dose. Those at higher risk should continue to use preventive measures and reduce engaging in any high-risk behaviors until that time. 

Signs and Symptoms

The symptoms of MPX are similar to but milder than the symptoms of smallpox. Symptoms usually start within three weeks of exposure to the virus. Most people who contract MPX will develop a rash, and some will develop flu-like symptoms beforehand. The flu-like symptoms may include fever, headache, muscle aches and backache, sore throat, cough, swollen lymph nodes, chills, or exhaustion. If someone has flu-like symptoms, they usually will develop a rash one to four days later.

If you suspect you are experiencing any symptoms associated with MPX you should immediately: 

  • Contact your health care provider and discuss your symptoms and concerns.
  • Self-isolate until all lesions have resolved, the scabs have fallen off, and a fresh layer of intact skin has formed.
  • Avoid being intimate with others.
  • Make a list of your close and intimate contacts in the last 21 days.

Currently, while there is no specific treatment for MPX, antivirals can be prescribed, though they are not always needed. To learn more information about monkeypox, please visit de.gov/monkeypox. DPH began posting MPX case and vaccine data on the website last week.

DPH launched a hotline for individuals with questions or concerns about MPX. The hotline number is 866-408-1899 and is operational Monday – Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (It will be closed this Monday because of the Labor Day holiday.) Questions may also be emailed to DPHCall@delaware.gov. Both the hotline number and email address share staff with the COVID-19 Call Center. To learn more about MPX prevention programs and resources, visit de.gov/monkeypox.

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The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH), a division of the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services, is a nationally accredited public health agency recognized by the Public Health Accreditation Board for its outstanding dedication to driving change through innovation. DPH 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. 

Anyone who is deaf, hard of hearing, Deaf-Blind, or speech-disabled can contact DPH by first dialing 711 using specialized devices (i.e., TTY, TeleBraille, voice devices). The 711 service is free; to learn more about how it works, visit delawarerelay.com.


Delaware Aglands Permanently Preserves 3,800 Acres; Largest Number of Inland Bays Easements Ever Selected

HARRINGTON, Del. (July 28, 2022) — During a stop at the Delaware Agriculture Education & Commodities Building at the Delaware State Fair, Governor John Carney announced an additional 3,827 acres on 54 farms are now permanently preserved for future generations.

Map of Delaware depicting all the agricultural easements,2022 marks the 26th consecutive year of easement selections by the Delaware Agricultural Lands Preservation Foundation. In this round, three farms in New Castle County, 26 in Kent County, 23 in Sussex County were preserved, and two easements for forestland preservation.

“Preserving Delaware’s farmland is a priority and Delaware Aglands have helped keep farms in production,” said Governor Carney. “The Department of Agriculture has a big year ahead with $20 million allocated to preserve Delaware farms from the ground up. With this year’s average discount rate at 44%, there is no better time for farmers to consider preserving their farms for future generations. I want to thank members of the General Assembly for seeing the importance of protecting agriculture here in our state.”

Along with the state funding, Delaware’s success in preserving farmland would not be possible without the assistance of many county and federal partners. The Delaware Aglands Preservation Foundation has partnered with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP), Sussex County Council, and Kent County Levy Court to purchase easements in this round. New Castle County provided funds this past winter to preserve a New Castle County farm that was not originally selected in Round 25.

“Farmland preservation is not just about preserving Delaware’s number one industry. It’s ensuring our residents have access to Delaware-grown food; that our next generation has a career in agriculture — no matter whether it’s on the farm, working in agribusiness, teaching agriscience to our youth, or developing the latest technology; and the heritage, culture, and beauty of rural Delaware can be enjoyed by residents and visitors alike,” said Secretary of Agriculture Michael T. Scuse. “In this round, nine easements in the Inland Bays watershed were selected, encompassing 486 acres. This is the most Inland Bays easements we have selected in one year and the most acres in the last twenty years. This is a big deal to ensure these communities have local farms providing them healthy food into the future.”

Since 1995, Delaware has preserved 6,873 acres of farmland in the Inland Bays watershed, costing $16.75 million. The easements selected in this year’s round have an estimated cost of $1.7 million. The only round with more acres preserved in this area was Round 5, announced in 2000.

“For the second year in a row, we have been able to accept every offer made by landowners to preserve their farms,” said Aglands Administrator Jimmy Kroon. “This is a significant change from several years ago when the process was much more competitive. Combined with increasing appraisals, we are paying more to preserve farmland, and we’re happy farmers are benefitting from that.”

The Delaware Agricultural Lands Preservation Foundation selects those farms approved for easement purchase using an impartial discounted ranking system that maximizes benefits for taxpayers. The Foundation does not own the land, but rather purchases landowners’ development rights and places a permanent agricultural conservation easement on the property. Landowners must first voluntarily enroll their farm into a 10-year preservation district and are eligible for permanent preservation the year after they apply. In addition to nearly 147,000 acres in permanent easements, Delaware’s Aglands Preservation Program has more than 34,000 acres of land enrolled in 10-year farmland preservation districts.

County governments can partner with the state program and add county funds to select properties in their areas, leveraging state resources for the most significant impact.

Delaware’s statewide program made its first round of easement purchases in 1996 and has since preserved 21 percent of New Castle County farmland, 38 percent of Kent County farmland, and 18 percent of Sussex County farmland.

Delaware farmers interested in preserving their farms should be sure they meet the following eligibility requirements:
• Property must be zoned for agriculture and not subject to any major subdivision plan.
• The property meets the minimum Land Evaluation and Site Assessment (LESA) score of 170. LESA is a process that attempts to estimate the farm’s long-term viability based on the farm’s soil productivity and the land use and agriculture infrastructure on and around the farm. Scores range from 0-300. Aglands program staff calculate the LESA score when applications are received.
• The property has to meet the state’s Farmland Assessment Act (10 acres or more which generate at least $1,000 in agricultural sales annually; farms under 10 acres which create at least $10,000 annually in agricultural sales).
• Farms of 200 acres or more constitute an agricultural district.
• Farms under 200 acres can enter the program if they are within 3 miles of an existing agricultural district. With over 1,154 farms already preserved, it is rare that a farm under 200 acres does not meet these criteria.

Entirely forested properties in managed timber production can also enroll in the Forestland Preservation Program, which purchases Forestland Preservation Easements through a similar process as Aglands Preservation.

For new farms interested in preservation, the deadline to apply and be eligible for Round 27 is October 31, 2022. For more information, visit https://de.gov/aglands.

The Delaware Agricultural Lands Preservation Foundation’s Board of Trustees includes representatives from agriculture and state agencies. Trustees are Mark Collins, chairman; James G. Vanderwende, vice-chairman; Janice Truitt, treasurer; William H. “Chip” Narvel Jr., secretary; Secretary of Agriculture Michael T. Scuse; State Treasurer Colleen C. Davis; Secretary of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Shawn Garvin; Peter Martin; Theodore P. Bobola Jr.; Robert Emerson; and H. Grier Stayton.

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Delaware Division Of Public Health Reports First Case Of Monkeypox In State

DOVER, DE (JULY 12, 2022) – The Delaware Division of Public Health’s (DPH) is announcing the state’s first case of the monkeypox virus (MPX). This week, DPH received test results showing a 41-year-old New Castle County man tested positive for MPX. This positive case is considered probable pending confirmatory testing by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Delaware man did not report any travel or exposure to someone known to have MPX but is believed to have been exposed to the virus after close intimate contact with an individual in early July.

The individual is self-isolating and DPH is working with him to identify any possible close contacts. Currently, DPH is working with the CDC to confirm the course of treatment for this individual.  

“The Delaware Division of Public Health has prepared to respond to MPX cases,” said DPH Interim Director Dr. Rick Hong. “As we work to confirm our first case in the state, we encourage Delawareans to be aware of being in close intimate contact with individuals who have rashes or flu-like symptoms. We will continue to monitor this situation closely.”

MPX is a rare disease caused through infection with the monkeypox virus. It can make you sick, causing a rash, which may look like pimples or blisters, often with an earlier flu-like illness. Transmission of MPX occurs when a person encounters the virus from an animal, human, or materials contaminated with the virus. The virus enters the body through broken skin (even if not visible), respiratory tract, or the mucous membranes (eyes, nose, or mouth).

The overall risk of MPX is low, generally caused by close intimate contact. However there are other ways it can spread including:

  • direct contact with the infectious rash, scabs, or body fluids
  • respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact, or during intimate physical contact, such as kissing, cuddling, or sex
  • touching items (such as clothing or linens) that previously touched the infectious rash or body fluids
  • pregnant people can spread the virus to their fetus through the placenta
  • It’s also possible for people to get MPX from infected animals, either by being scratched or bitten by the animal or by preparing or eating meat or using products from an infected animal.

The incubation period of the illness (time from infection to symptoms) is typically seven to 14 days but can as long as 21 days. The illness itself typically lasts two to four weeks and is rarely fatal. People who do not have symptoms cannot spread the virus to others.

Signs and Symptoms

The symptoms of MPX are similar to, but milder than, the symptoms of smallpox. Symptoms usually start within 3 weeks of exposure to the virus. Most people who contract MPX will develop a rash, and some will develop flu-like symptoms beforehand. The flu-like symptoms may include fever, headache, muscle aches and backache, sore throat, cough, swollen lymph nodes, chills, or exhaustion. If someone has flu-like symptoms, they will usually develop a rash one to four days later.

If you suspect you are experiencing any symptoms associated with MPX you should immediately:

  • Contact your health care provider – mention your concerns
  • Self-isolate until all lesions have resolved, the scabs have fallen off, and a fresh layer of intact skin has formed
  • Avoid being intimate with others
  • Make a list of your close and intimate contacts in the last 21 days

Currently, there is no specific treatment for monkeypox virus infection. Instead, smallpox vaccine, antivirals, and vaccinia immune globulin (VIG) can be used.  CDC recommends vaccination for people who have been diagnosed with or exposed to MPX and people who are at higher risk of being exposed to the virus, including:

  • People who have been identified as a contact of someone with MPX
  • People who are aware that one of their sexual partners in the past 2 weeks has been diagnosed with MPX
  • People who had multiple sexual partners in the past 2 weeks in an area with known MPX
  • People whose jobs may expose them to MPX such as laboratory, and some health care or public health workers

To prevent infection with MPX:

  • Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash that looks like MPX.
  • Do not touch the rash or scabs of a person with MPX.
  • Do not kiss, hug, cuddle or have sex with someone with MPX.
  • Do not share eating utensils or cups with a person with MPX.
  • Do not handle or touch the bedding, towels, or clothing of a person with MPX.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

 

To learn more about MPX management and prevention programs and resources, visit https://dhss.delaware.gov/dph/epi/emerginginfectiousdiseases.html or call DPH’s Office of Infectious Disease Epidemiology 24/7 emergency contact number at 888-295-5156.

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Anyone who is deaf, hard of hearing, Deaf-Blind or speech disabled can contact DPH by dialing 711 first using specialized devices (i.e., TTY, TeleBraille, voice devices). The 711 service is free and to learn more about how it works, please visit 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.