Carney, Carper, Coons, Blunt Rochester Announce $11 Million to Bolster Public Health Workforce and Infrastructure

WILMINGTON, Del. – Delaware Governor John Carney, U.S. Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons, and Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester (all D-Del.) today announced that Delaware will receive $11,021,366 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to strengthen the First State’s public health workforce and infrastructure.

Nationwide, the CDC is awarding $3.2 billion to help state, local, and territorial jurisdictions across the United States to provide the people, services, and systems needed to promote and protect health in U.S. communities. This includes $3 billion from the American Rescue Plan Act, legislation championed by Senators Carper, Coons and Congresswoman Blunt Rochester, for jurisdictions to recruit, retain, and train their workforce, including critical frontline public health workers such as epidemiologists, contact tracers, laboratory scientists, community health workers, and data analysts.

“Our public health workers have an important role in our state, and we are grateful for the services they provide to help keep Delawareans healthy,” said Governor Carney. “The last few years highlighted the impact that our public health team can make in our communities. These federal funds will strengthen Delaware’s public health system, and enable us to recruit and train more workers to deliver key services across our state. Thank you to the CDC and to our congressional delegation for this funding, and for supporting Delaware’s public health infrastructure.”

“The pandemic has shown us just how important strong and durable public health care infrastructure is in the First State,” said Senator Carper. “This funding – made possibly by the American Rescue Plan that I was proud to support –will go toward retaining and attracting employees into this critical sector of our workforce. As our public health systems face continuous obstacles, I am grateful that our state will be able to take the steps necessary to ensure Delaware is resilient against all future health crises.”

“When I welcomed U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy to Delaware last week to speak directly with health care providers, we heard how health care providers have grappled with the turmoil of the past few years, and how those challenges have been shared by their colleagues in public health,” said Senator Coons. “This grant provides the funding necessary to strengthen public health and will equip those working in our health care community here in Delaware and throughout our nation with the resources these workers need to properly support the communities that they so proudly serve.”

“Maintaining public health is essential to the wellbeing of our state and Delaware’s Division of Public Health (DPH) is front and center in this charge,” said Rep. Blunt Rochester, member of the House Health Subcommittee. “Today’s grant announcement from the CDC will infuse federal dollars, including funds from the American Rescue Plan that Senator Carper, Senator Coons, and I championed, into DPH to strengthen and expand its public health infrastructure. With this funding, DPH will focus on the recruitment, retention, and training of its workforce so that its reach can be expanded across the state to administer vital public health services to more Delawareans. I’m proud to have played a part in bringing this funding to Delaware and look forward to how it will strengthen DPH’s efforts to keep our communities healthy.”

“We are grateful to CDC and our congressional delegation for continuing to support the critical work of our public health team, which works tirelessly day in and day out to serve and protect the residents of our state,” said Department of Health and Social Services Secretary Molly Magarik. “This additional federal funding will allow us to expand our current public health workforce, build on the enhanced infrastructure we were able to put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic, and strengthen our capabilities to ensure we are able to rapidly respond to any emerging health threat in the future.”


Covid-19 Remains A Risk During Holiday Season As Does Flu And Other Respiratory Viruses

DOVER, DE (Nov. 18, 2022) – The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) reports that the statewide 7-day average of new positive COVID-19 cases has decreased for the fourth consecutive month. Hospitalizations and deaths related to COVID-19 have remained low over the same time period. Average new positive cases are lowest in Kent County, with Sussex County only slightly higher. However, the 7-day average in New Castle County is almost three times that of Kent County and double the average for Sussex County. In general, the level of community spread remains low. 

Testing and vaccination remain our best tools to prevent the spread of COVID-19 as we prepare to gather with friends and family this holiday season. At-home testing is fast, convenient and reliable, especially for those who are feeling sick. If you test negative but still have symptoms, consider taking a second test within the timeframe described in manufacturer’s instructions. If the second test is still negative, contact your healthcare provider and consider you may have another respiratory virus like influenza (flu). 

 

Don’t let COVID-19 have a seat at your table this Thanksgiving.  Delawareans should remain vigilant to protect their loved ones from COVID-19 by following these key prevention strategies.

 

  • Stay home if sick.  Even if it’s not COVID-19, you don’t want to spread flu or other germs to those around you, especially older, very young or immunocompromised friends and family.
  • Get tested for COVID-19:
    • 1-2 days before a large gathering
    • If you have symptoms of COVID-19
    • Five (5) days after being exposed to someone confirmed to have COVID-19
    •  
  • Ensure your home or gathering place is properly ventilated. Click here for more information about improving ventilation in your home, including an online interactive ventilation tool. This easy-to-use tool helps you find the best combination of ventilation options in your home to decrease the level of COVID-19 particles in the air.
  • Wear a mask when out or around others if it makes you more comfortable or are immunocompromised.
  • Make sure you are up-to-date with your vaccines, especially the updated bivalent COVID-19 booster, and flu shot.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes if you are around others when they occur.
  • After a trip, travelers are recommended to self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms, and isolate and get tested if symptoms develop.

 

It is important to remember eligible individuals can get either the Pfizer or Moderna updated bivalent booster, regardless of whether their primary series or most recent dose was with Pfizer, Moderna, Novavax or the Johnson & Johnson (J & J) vaccine. As per the CDC recommendations, the new bivalent booster replaces the existing monovalent vaccine booster, therefore that vaccine will no longer be authorized for use as a booster dose in people ages 5 and up. The bivalent booster is for those who completed their primary series, or previous boosters, two or more months ago. 

The Novavax vaccine is also authorized as a monovalent booster dose for adults ages 18 and older, at least 6 months after completing primary vaccination with Pfizer, Moderna or Novovax, or two months after J&J who have NEVER received a previous booster. Adults may choose to receive a Novavax booster instead of an updated Pfizer or Moderna booster if they are allergic to mRNA vaccines, or they don’t wish to get an mRNA vaccine. For more information on boosters, visit de.gov/boosters. 

 

 

DPH encourages individuals to get their booster at the same time as they get their annual flu vaccine, either in the same arm at least one inch apart, or in different arms. As of Thursday, Nov. 17, 2022, a total of 598 influenza cases were reported for the week of Nov. 6 to Nov. 12, an increase from the prior week. This brings the total number of influenza cases for the season to 1,404. While cases are increasing, influenza-related hospitalizations remain low at 23 statewide for the current season. 

As flu cases rise this season, only 26% of Delawareans have received their annual flu vaccine. The CDC encourages everyone 6 months older to get their annual flu vaccine by Thanksgiving. Flu vaccines and bivalent boosters are available at DPH clinics, many pharmacies, Federally Qualified Health Centers and some community events. You can find a list of locations for COVID vaccines at de.gov/getmyvaccine or at vaccines.gov. Locations for flu vaccines can be found on the flu finder on the flu.delaware.gov webpage. More details on the bivalent booster can be found at de.gov/boosters.  

 

Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) is another respiratory virus of concern. Cases are beginning to decline, but remain relatively high. During the week of Nov. 6 to Nov. 12, there were 102 laboratory-confirmed cases of RSV reported among Delaware residents with 606 total cases for the 2022-2023 season.

 

The co-circulation of COVID-19, flu and RSV continues to be a concern for Delaware. The three viruses have contributed to a strain on the health care system, and DPH urges the public to practice prevention guidelines to help reduce the impact and allow hospitals to continue caring for those who are seriously ill. Though a vaccine does not yet exist for RSV, it’s not too late to get critical protection from the flu if you not yet received a flu vaccine Close to half of the nearly 1,500 Delaware flu cases reported this season, occurred between Nov. 6 and Nov. 12. Getting the flu vaccine reduces the chance of getting sick. While it is still possible to get the flu even after you’ve been vaccinated, the vaccine reduces the severity of illness if you do get sick.

 

The below data is as reported on Delaware’s My Healthy Community data portal on Thursday, Nov. 17, 2022.  

 

COVID-19 Cases and Hospitalizations:  

  • Total positive cases since March 11, 2020: 315,440*
  • 7-day daily average of new positive cases: 105.9, a decrease of 40.5 average new positive cases reported since Oct 14, 2022  
  • 7-day daily average for the percentage of total positive tests: 6.7 percentage points, a decrease of 3.2 percentage points reported since Oct. 14, 2022  
  • Hospitalizations: 99 current hospitalizations; critically ill: 5
  • Total COVID-19 deaths: 3,163, an increase of 42 since last month, including 39 as a result of ongoing Vital Statistics review of deaths occurring between June and October.*Case and testing data are based on reporting of lab-confirmed COVID-19 tests only. The number of COVID-19 cases in the community is higher than what is reported because of the use of at-home test kits. 
  •  

COVID-19 Vaccinations:  

  • Total number of doses administered in Delaware:2,051,226
  • Percentage of Delawareans 5+ who are fully vaccinated (CDC data): 76.1%  
  • Percentage of Delawareans 12+ who are fully vaccinated (CDC data): 80.2%  
  • Percentage of Delawareans 18+ who are fully vaccinated (CDC data): 81.7%  
  • Percent of Delawareans who are fully vaccinated (CDC data): 72%  

COVID-19 Case Vaccination Status Report:  The following reports capture a weekly breakdown of non-boosted cases, deaths, and hospitalizations for the time frame of Oct 31 – Nov 6, 2022.    

Non-boosted: Case – Hospital – Death

 

Weekly Overview(10/31/22 – 11/06/22)

Not up-to-date Cases

Total Not up-to-date Cases

828

Total Cases

911

Percent of Not up-to-date Cases

90%

Not up-to-date Hospitalized Cases

Total Not up-to-date Hospitalized Cases

94

Total Hospitalized Cases

100

Percent of Not up-to-date Cases

94%

Not up-to-date Deaths

Total Not up-to-date Deaths

1

Total COVID-19 Deaths

1

Percent of Not up-to-date Deaths

100%

 

 

Note: Case and Hospitalization Count: based on RTS (Report to State Date) Death: based on DoD (Date of Death)  

  

Long-term Care Statistics:  

As of Thursday, Nov. 17, 2022, there have been a total of 4,837 positive COVID-19 cases involving long-term care residents, and 1,000 residents of Delaware long-term care facilities have died from complications related to COVID-19. 

 

Resources:  

Individuals with general 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:  

 

  • Monday – Friday: 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.  
  • Saturday: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  

Medically related questions regarding testing, symptoms, and health-related guidance can be submitted by email at DPHCall@delaware.gov.  DPH will continue to update the public as more information becomes available. For the latest on Delaware’s response, go to de.gov/coronavirus. 

 

### 

 

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.  

  

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. 


DPH Expresses Concern Over Increasing Flu And RSV Cases In The State

DOVER, DE (OCT. 28, 2022) – The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) is concerned about increases in respiratory viruses in the state, particularly influenza (flu) and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). For the week of Oct. 16, 2022, through Oct. 22, 2022, there were 44 laboratory-confirmed cases of the flu, compared to 19 cases the week before, bringing the statewide total for the season which began October 2, to 69.  For the same week, there were 98 cases of RSV, for a season total of 250. With COVID-19 continuing to circulate, DPH officials are concerned about the impact a “Tripledemic” of these respiratory viruses could have on the state’s overall health and hospital capacity. 

“We are managing the response to three serious respiratory viruses at once – the flu, RSV, and COVID-19 – and are significantly concerned about the impact increasing cases could have on an already strained hospital system,” said DPH Interim Director Dr. Rick Hong.  “Our primary message is stay home if you are sick. Fortunately, a vaccine is available for flu and COVID-19, and now is the time to ensure all eligible Delawareans have received these critically important immunizations including the new COVID bivalent booster to provide them with the most updated protection against circulating variants. Unfortunately, a vaccine is not available for RSV and the current increase in cases throughout Delaware and the country emphasize the need to carefully follow prevention measures for these seasonal viruses.” 

The flu and COVID-19 have many similar symptoms, including fever or feeling feverish/chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue (tiredness), sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle pain or body aches and headaches. Other signs and symptoms of COVID-19 that are different from flu include a change in or loss of taste or smell. If you are sick, the best thing to do is call your health care provider to see if you should get tested for COVID-19 or come in for a visit. Even if you take a home COVID-19 test and it’s negative, consider re-testing in two days, or consult your provider to see if you need a flu test. 

RSV is a common respiratory virus that usually causes mild, cold-like symptoms including fever, cough, congestion, runny nose, sneezing, and in infants, fussiness and poor feeding.  It then progresses to more severe symptoms such as fast or short breathing or wheezing, and in infants and young children, grunting noises when breathing, chest caving in during breathing, and skin turning purple or blue due to lack of oxygen. While persons of any age can develop RSV, it is most common in children under age 2 and can be severe, especially for infants and older adults. Most people will recover in one to two weeks. 

Delawareans can help prevent the spread of RSV, COVID-19, the flu, and other respiratory illnesses by following these simple steps.:

  1. Get vaccinated for COVID-19, the flu, and other illnesses for which vaccines are available
  2. Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, and dispose of the tissue in a wastebasket afterward
  3. Wash hands frequently with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand sanitizers
  4. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
  5. Sanitize commonly touched surfaces more frequently during the fall and winter
  6. Wear a mask when cases are high or if you are at higher risk for respiratory illness

The Delaware hospital system is experiencing strain right now, and Emergency Department (ED) wait times can be lengthy.  DPH wants to remind Delawareans when to, and not to visit the ED or call 911.

VISIT ED:

  • Trouble breathing or wheezing that is not well-controlled by asthma medications
  • Unusual sleepiness or confusion
  • A stiff neck and a fever
  • A cut that won’t stop bleeding
  • A broken bone
  • Tightness in chest or pain
  • Elevated blood pressure with other symptoms, such as chest pain or severe headache
  • Drug overdose
  • A head injury with vomiting, sleepiness, fainting or seizure
  • An eye injury
  • A serious burn
  • At risk of harming themselves or others

DON’T VISIT ED:

  • Need a COVID-19 test
  • Don’t feel well but can manage symptoms with over-the-counter medications
  • Elevated blood pressure without other symptoms
  • Runny nose/cough without trouble breathing
  • Fever with mild symptoms
  • Muscle soreness or backaches
  • Minor cuts or scrapes
  • Nausea or diarrhea without abdominal pain

For more information about RSV, the flu and COVID-19, visit publichealthalerts.delaware.gov

 

###   

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.  

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. 


COVID-19 Cases, Hospitalizations Decline In Last Month; DPH Shares Information On Bivalent Boosters

DOVER, DE (September 16, 2022) – The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) is pleased to share declines in hospitalizations, test positivity rates and the 7-day average of new positive COVID-19 cases continued for the second month in a row.  Deaths also remain low. However, COVID-19 is still circulating in the community, and at higher levels in some counties. Additionally, while hospitalizations overall are down, in recent weeks they have increased in the 0-4 months age range and the 18-34 years age range.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) COVID-19 Community Levels data tracker, which was last updated on September 15, COVID-19 community levels in Kent and Sussex counties are considered medium, while levels in New Castle County are listed as low.

Recently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and CDC have authorized the new bivalent boosters from Pfizer BioNTech and Moderna, which target two strains of COVID 19: the original strain of the virus, and two of the Omicron variants (BA.4 and BA.5), currently, the most widespread variants in the world.  The updated bivalent boosters are available to all individuals 12 years of age and older who have received their primary series of vaccination at least two months before (a minimum of two doses of Pfizer, Moderna or Novavax and one dose of Johnson and Johnson).  Individuals who have recently had COVID-19 are still encouraged to get a booster to optimize their protection but should consider waiting three months after they have recovered.

Changes in the virus necessitated new, updated boosters to improve protection. To reduce confusion among the public and vaccine providers, and because they do not offer the increased levels of protection provided by the bivalent boosters, the original booster formula is no longer authorized for use in those 12 and older.  Medical providers may no longer administer them to anyone older than 12.

By authorizing the vaccines in September rather than waiting until later this fall, the CDC estimates the prevention of over 137,000 hospitalizations and 9,200 deaths in the first two months alone. To further support the effectiveness of vaccines and boosters in reducing serious illness, a study of the Journal of the American Medical Association indicates that during the original Omicron surge earlier this year, unvaccinated individuals were 10.5 times more likely to be hospitalized than those who were vaccinated and boosted.

 

Pfizer-BioNTech boosters are authorized for ages 12 and older, while Moderna is authorized for 18 years of age and older.  Regardless of which brand of vaccine you previously received, you can get any bivalent booster for which you are eligible.  As of this time, only the monovalent boosters targeting the original strain are available for children 5 through 11 years of age.  Parents are encouraged to vaccinate their children now with the primary series and most current boosters when eligible until the bivalent boosters are authorized for this age group. With the rise in hospitalizations among those ages 0 – 4 years old, parents of young children are particularly encouraged to get their children vaccinated.

DPH strongly encourages everyone 12 and older to get their bivalent booster as soon as they are eligible, and well in advance of any possible surge in the late fall or winter. Individuals may also get a booster at the same time as they get their annual flu vaccine, but it is recommended to do so in different arms.  Bivalent boosters are available at DPH clinics, many pharmacies, Federally Qualified Health Centers and some community events.  You can find a list of locations at de.gov/getmyvaccine or at vaccines.gov. More details on the bivalent booster can be found at de.gov/boosters.

The webpage also has a link to a flier for the public which highlights some similarities between the labels of bivalent boosters and some primary series vaccines. Those getting a booster are encouraged to print and take a copy of the flier with them, or pull it up on their phone’s web browser, and ask the vaccine provider to show you the vial that your bivalent booster is being drawn from so you can confirm it is the correct one. It is an important step in being an educated health consumer and advocate for your personal health.

The below data is as reported on Delaware’s My Health Community data portal on Thursday, Sept. 15, 2022. 

COVID-19 Cases and Hospitalizations: 

  • Total positive cases since March 11, 2020: 305,517*
  • 7-day daily average of new positive cases: 196.1, a decrease of 83.3 average new positive cases reported since Aug 18, 2022 
  • 7-day daily average for the percentage of total positive tests: 12.5 percentage points, a decrease of 5.9 percentage points reported since Aug 18, 2022 
  • Hospitalizations: 121 current hospitalizations; critically ill: 14 
  • Total COVID-19 deaths: 3,080, an increase of 44 since last month (11 regularly reported, and 33 from a review of Vital Statistics between June and August)

*Case and testing data are based on reporting of lab-confirmed COVID-19 tests only. The number of COVID-19 cases in the community is higher than what is reported because of the use of at-home test kits. 

COVID-19 Vaccinations:   

  • Total number of doses administered in Delaware: 1,893,787
  • Percentage of Delawareans 5+ who are fully vaccinated (CDC data): 75.1%  
  • Percentage of Delawareans 12+ who are fully vaccinated (CDC data): 79.2%   
  • Percentage of Delawareans 18+ who are fully vaccinated (CDC data): 80.7%
  • Percent of Delawareans who are fully vaccinated (CDC data): 70.9% 
  

All qualifying Delawareans should get vaccinated. For a location near you, visit de.gov/getmyvaccine. Delaware’s latest COVID-19 vaccination statistics can be found under the Vaccine Tracker dashboard at de.gov/healthycommunity.  

  

COVID-19 Case Vaccination Status Report: 

The following reports capture a weekly breakdown of non-boosted cases, deaths, and hospitalizations for the time frame of Sept 5 – Sept 11, 2022.  

 Non-boosted: Case – Hospital – Death

Weekly Overview
(09/05/22 – 09/11/22)

Non-boosted Cases

Total Non-boosted Cases

886

Total Cases

1288

Percent of Non-boosted Cases

64%

Non-boosted Hospitalized Cases

Total Non-boosted Hospitalized Cases

84

Total Hospitalized Cases

136

Percent of Non-boosted Hospitalized Cases

61%

Non-boosted Deaths

Total Non-boosted Deaths

0

Total COVID-19 Deaths

1

Percent of Non-boosted Deaths

0%

 

Note:

Case and Hospitalization Count: based on RTS (Report to State Date)
Death: based on DoD (Date of Death)

 

Long-term Care Statistics:   

As of Thursday, September 15, 2022, there have been a total of 4,573 positive COVID-19 cases involving long-term care residents, and 979 residents of Delaware long-term care facilities have died from complications related to COVID-19.

Resources:   

Individuals with general 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:   

  • Monday – Friday: 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.   
  • Saturday: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
 

 Medical-related questions regarding testing, symptoms and health-related guidance can be submitted by email at DPHCall@delaware.gov.   

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

###

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 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.


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.

# # # 

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.