Delaware Update on Ebola Prevention and Preparation

Dover, DE – Joined by the State’s top health officials, along with infectious disease and emergency response experts, Governor Markell today provided an update on ongoing statewide efforts in response to the Ebola virus epidemic.Ebola Media Briefing

“We are facing an unprecedented situation with the Ebola virus, making prevention and preparation efforts vital,” said Governor Markell. “While the risk of transmission in Delaware is low, the State has been preparing for the potential of any Ebola cases for months to ensure we are in the best possible position to keep the public safe.”

While there are no cases in Delaware and the risk of transmission is low, the Division of Public Health (DPH) in the Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) is working to ensure the appropriate screening tools and disease prevention strategies are used to further reduce any chance of transmission. These tools and strategies are based on the best currently available science, which tells us that Ebola virus is only transmitted by infected patients who have symptoms. The risk of getting the disease through normal, everyday contact is extremely low.

DPH is working closely with hospitals, medical providers, EMS companies, and many other partners to prepare, coordinate care, and provide advice and guidance. Issues being addressed by this group include how to screen for the disease, safe ambulance transportation of potential Ebola patients, personal protective equipment guidance and availability, hospital readiness, infectious disease monitoring, and protocols for any doctor’s office that might see a case.

“Delaware’s hospitals know that the best way to address Ebola is to prevent its spread. The Division’s approach to doing that is sound, science-based, and will help protect both Delawareans and the health care professionals who care for them,” said Wayne Smith, President and CEO of the Delaware Healthcare Association.

In addition, the Governor has directed engagement from all cabinet-level agencies to ensure statewide efforts are coordinated and comprehensive.

“If a case is confirmed in Delaware, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention rapid response team would be on the ground to assist us,” said Secretary Rita Landgraf. “They would support the Division of Public Health to trace any potential contacts who might need to be monitored, have activity restrictions or, although unlikely, be quarantined. The CDC also would work with the State and the hospitals to determine if the ill patient should be moved out of state for treatment.”

In coordination with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), DPH is receiving notice of all travelers from the three West African countries, Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia.

DPH is in daily contact with those persons to check their status and health, and will remain in daily contact throughout the 21-day period following their last potential Ebola exposure. If anyone shows symptoms of illness or a fever, they will be taken to the closest hospital for evaluation, and, if needed, isolation and testing. Currently there are 11 individuals in Delaware who are considered low risk that are being monitored. Eight live in New Castle County and three live in Kent County. “Low risk” is defined as having no known direct contact with a person infected with the Ebola virus.

Delaware is also designating “high risk” and “some risk” categories for those who have had direct contact with a person or people symptomatic with the Ebola virus. (See attached) These individuals will receive direct active monitoring for the 21-day incubation period by Division of Public Health staff, including daily visits. “High risk” individuals must also be quarantined at home and “some risk” individuals must limit their activities, including avoiding public transportation and large gatherings, and seeking approval from DPH to travel.

DHSS urges people not to make assumptions that someone might be infected based on their accent, background or skin color, and it is important to remember how hard the disease is to transmit.

If you wish to discuss a suspected case, you may contact DPH 24/7 at 888-295-5156, including weekends and holidays. If you have general questions, the CDC has a 24/7 line available for information on the Ebola virus at 800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636).

Photos from Ebola Briefing

Video from Ebola Briefing

Ebola Monitoring Fact Sheet

For further Ebola information and resources visit the Delaware Public Health homepage.

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 here.

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

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Storm Report #2 – Tuesday Evening January 21 (9:30pm)

(Smyrna) – A State of Emergency and Level 1 Driving Warning remain in effect for the entire State of Delaware, declared at 2pm by Governor Jack Markell, who previously ordered state offices closed at noon, sending all non-essential personnel home.  The Delaware Emergency Operations Center (EOC) was activated at noon, and Governor Markell has issued a verbal authorization permitting the Delaware Guard to take responsive and precautionary actions directed by the director of the Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA), in consultation with Department of Safety and Homeland Security Secretary Louis Schiliro, upon request by local authorities.

The Delaware Code defines a Level 1 Driving Warning in this manner: “Level 1 Driving Warning: A “Level 1 Driving Warning” shall mean that any person operating a motor vehicle when a Level 1 Driving Warning has been activated shall exercise extra caution in the operation of their motor vehicle. Nonessential employees, regardless of whether employed by a public or private entity, are encouraged not to operate a motor vehicle on the State’s roadways when a Level 1 Driving Warning has been activated, unless there is a significant safety, health or business reason to do so.”

The National Weather Service says significant snowfall will taper off through the overnight period from west to east as bitterly cold air settles into the area.  As the storm continues to get stronger, winds will become gusty, which will result in areas of blowing and drifting snow.  As the storm moves out of the area, bitterly cold air will continue tonight and Wednesday.

In New Castle County, the Winter Storm Warning continues in effect until 6am Wednesday morning, while the Wind Chill Advisory will be effective from 1am until 11am Wednesday.

Snow amounts are forecast from 8-14 inches in New Castle County.  The higher amounts of snow will generally be closer to the Delaware River.  Snow will taper off overnight.  Travel will remain hazardous due to snow covered roadways, low visibility and drifting, and will continue through Wednesday morning.  The commute on Wednesday morning will be impacted by blowing and drifting snow, especially in open areas.  In the meantime, winds will be out of the north at 15-25 MPH with gusts open to 35 MPH, changing later to northwest.  Temperatures will be in the teens, dropping to single digits overnight, and wind chills will be as low as 15 degrees below zero.

For Kent and Sussex Counties, the Winter Storm Warning remains in effect until 6am Wednesday, while the Wind Chill Advisory will be effective from 1am until 11am Wednesday.

Snow totals in Kent County are now forecast at 6-8 inches, with 4-6 inches expected in Sussex County.  Snow will gradually taper off overnight, but travel will be hazardous because of slippery roads, low visibility and blowing and drifting snow.  Those conditions will affect the Wednesday morning commute.

Actual snow accumulations vary from nearly 9 inches near Hockessin (Northern New Castle County) to less than an inch near Selbyville (Sussex County) with just over 3.5 inches in the Dover area (Kent County).

Winds will come from the north at 15-25 MPH, with gusts up to 40 MPH, then move from the northwest.  Temperatures will fall from the teens to the single digits, with wind chills as low as 15 degrees below zero.

The speed limit on Interstate 495 has been reduced to 45 MPH.  In Kent County, major roads are covered with snow, ice and slush, with heavy snow falling at times.  Major roads in Sussex County are generally reported to be wet with light snow, and a minimal accumulation so far.  All bridges are open, but the speed limit on the Delaware Memorial Bridge has been lowered to 30 MPH.

There have not been any reports of widespread power outages in the state; however residents should be prepared in the event that high winds and snow accumulations bring down power lines.

All school districts in Delaware will be closed on Wednesday, January 22nd.


Storm Report #1 – Tuesday Afternoon January 21 (4:30pm)

(Smyrna)

(Smyrna) – Delaware Governor Jack Markell declared a State of Emergency and Level 1 Driving Warning today for the entire state.  Governor Markell had previously ordered state offices closed at noon, sending all non-essential personnel home.

The Delaware Code defines a Level 1 Driving Warning in this manner: “Level 1 Driving Warning: A “Level 1 Driving Warning” shall mean that any person operating a motor vehicle when a Level 1 Driving Warning has been activated shall exercise extra caution in the operation of their motor vehicle. Nonessential employees, regardless of whether employed by a public or private entity, are encouraged not to operate a motor vehicle on the State’s roadways when a Level 1 Driving Warning has been activated, unless there is a significant safety, health or business reason to do so.”

Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA) officials, along with other emergency response agencies across the state are monitoring the snowstorm that is making its way through Delaware.  The National Weather Service (NWS) posted a Winter Storm Warning that is in effect until 6am, Wednesday, January 22.  NWS forecasters say that as much as 8-14 inches of snow could fall in New Castle County, 4-8 inches in Kent and much of Sussex County, with 6-8 inches in southern Sussex County.

The weather conditions bring two problems to the state – snow accumulations and high winds.  High winds will cause patchy areas of snow and ice, along with drifts on roadways.  Drivers should use extreme caution throughout the storm period.  The other problem is the extreme cold associated with this weather.  Temperatures will drop overnight across the state, and by morning, wind chills could register around -7 degrees Fahrenheit.  Those venturing outside should dress appropriately as hypothermia is a possible danger.  Pets should be sheltered or brought indoors.

Roads were pre-treated by the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) with brine, a water and salt mixture, as early as Monday in anticipation of the snowstorm.  DelDOT crews are currently salting roadways.  Road conditions statewide will worsen as the snow and wind continue.  Motorists should reduce speeds appropriately based on road conditions.  Delaware State Police are reporting wet and slippery roads across the state, with some roadways snow covered.  State Police are also reporting numerous traffic accidents across Delaware.

Governor Markell had previously ordered state offices closed at noon, sending all non-essential personnel home.

The Delaware Code defines a Level 1 Driving Warning in this manner: “Level 1 Driving Warning: A “Level 1 Driving Warning” shall mean that any person operating a motor vehicle when a Level 1 Driving Warning has been activated shall exercise extra caution in the operation of their motor vehicle. Nonessential employees, regardless of whether employed by a public or private entity, are encouraged not to operate a motor vehicle on the State’s roadways when a Level 1 Driving Warning has been activated, unless there is a significant safety, health or business reason to do so.”

Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA) officials, along with other emergency response agencies across the state are monitoring the snowstorm that is making its way through Delaware.  The National Weather Service (NWS) posted a Winter Storm Warning that is in effect until 6am, Wednesday, January 22.  NWS forecasters say that as much as 8-14 inches of snow could fall in New Castle County, 4-8 inches in Kent and much of Sussex County, with 6-8 inches in southern Sussex County.

The weather conditions bring two problems to the state – snow accumulations and high winds.  High winds will cause patchy areas of snow and ice, along with drifts on roadways.  Drivers should use extreme caution throughout the storm period.  The other problem is the extreme cold associated with this weather.  Temperatures will drop overnight across the state, and by morning, wind chills could register around -7 degrees Fahrenheit.  Those venturing outside should dress appropriately as hypothermia is a possible danger.  Pets should be sheltered or brought indoors.

Roads were pre-treated by the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) with brine, a water and salt mixture, as early as Monday in anticipation of the snowstorm.  DelDOT crews are currently salting roadways.  Road conditions statewide will worsen as the snow and wind continue.  Motorists should reduce speeds appropriately based on road conditions.  Delaware State Police are reporting wet and slippery roads across the state, with some roadways snow covered.  State Police are also reporting numerous traffic accidents across Delaware.


Code Purple shelters open today in New Castle and Sussex counties

NEW CASTLE (Jan. 21, 2014) – With snow widespread across the state and temperatures forecast to drop into the 20s and lower through Friday, Code Purple locations have been established in New Castle and Sussex counties to help people who are homeless find shelter. The duration of the shelters are subject to weather conditions and the resources of the coordinating agency or place of worship.

People with emergency housing needs are encouraged to call 2-1-1 to be directed to the most appropriate shelter or service.

 

NEW CASTLE COUNTY

Wilmington

Friendship House has enacted Code Purple beginning today, Jan. 21, and for the remainder of the week. Volunteers provide soup and sandwiches. Friendship House provides hot beverages, paper and cleaning products. The shelter will be open each day from 2:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. at the Episcopal Church of Saints Andrew and Matthew, 720 N. Orange St., Wilmington. Beginning Wednesday, Jan. 22 and for the remainder of the week, doors will open at 5:30 a.m. at this location.

For more information about Code Purple nights, call Bill Perkins at (302) 559-5716.

Salvation Army activates Code Purple when necessary. After 8:30 p.m., those at the sanctuary will go to the Salvation Army shelter, 400 N. Orange St. Men will be provided a cot set-up in the gymnasium and women will be provided accommodation in the women’s shelter. An evening snack and continental breakfast will be served before visitors leave the facility at 6 a.m.

Newark

A coalition of 10 Newark faith communities offers emergency sanctuary from dusk to dawn (6 p.m.-6 a.m.). Eight local churches rotate in serving as the host site. Volunteers from local faith communities and community organizations support guests who are homeless in a church common room with access to bathrooms, a light evening meal, hot beverages and blankets.

Those in the Newark area who are in need of sanctuary from the cold weather are encouraged to call (302) 544-0165, and sign up for services with the Newark Empowerment Center. The center’s office hours are 1 p.m.-4 p.m. The host overnight sanctuary locations for the Newark Empowerment Center are:

  • Today (Jan. 21): Newark United Methodist Church, 69 E. Main St., Newark. Doors open at 6 p.m.
  • Wednesday (Jan. 22): Calvary Baptist Church, 215 E. Delaware Ave., Newark. Doors open at 6 p.m.

 

SUSSEX COUNTY

Beginning today, Jan, 21, and for however long Code Purple is in effect: People in need of overnight sanctuary are encouraged to go to Epworth United Methodist Church, 19285 Holland Glade Road, Rehoboth Beach. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. The facility does not have the capacity to house families; only single individuals can be hosted at this time. For more information, call Nan Ruhl, director of Immanuel Shelter, at (302) 604-2619.

 

KENT COUNTY

Nan Ruhl, director of Immanuel Shelter, said the overnight sanctuary at Epworth United Methodist Church in Rehoboth Beach would take individuals who are homeless in Kent County or elsewhere who can get to the shelter.

 

CENTRALIZED INTAKE: HOMELESS PREVENTION RESPONSE SYSTEM

 

Centralized Intake is a statewide program that provides an efficient and effective process for assessing individuals and families who are experiencing a housing crisis, identifying the most appropriate housing intervention needed to end their episode of homelessness, and referring them to crisis services and/or shelter to meet their immediate needs.

Anyone experiencing a housing crisis is urged to call 2-1-1.  The operator will ask a few questions to determine if they would benefit from prevention services in the community or if they need to be assessed by a housing specialist.

 


DNREC Fish & Wildlife Enforcement Blotter: April 3-9; Reminder for the week: Turkey season opens April 13

DOVER (April 12, 2013) – To achieve public compliance through education and enforcement actions that help conserve Delaware’s fish and wildlife resources and ensure safe boating and public safety, between April 3 and April 9 DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife Enforcement agents made 1,135 contacts with hunters, anglers, boaters and the general public, including 12 boating safety/fishing regulation compliance checks. Agents responded to 36 complaints and issued 41 citations. Incidents of particular note included: 

  • On April 8, following an investigation, agents arrested Howard B. Carter IV, 35, of Middletown and charged him with possession of a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle, hunting from a roadway, third degree conspiracy, hunting wild turkey without a permit, failure to register wild turkey, illegal possession of wild turkey, hunting wild turkey during a closed season and failure to wear required camouflage while hunting wild turkey. Carter was arraigned in Justice of the Peace Court 11 in New Castle and released pending a later trial in a higher court. 
  • Agents arrested two local fugitives. On April 4, Lanier L. Bright, 41, of Millsboro, was taken into custody on a Justice of the Peace Court warrant and released after posting bail. Bright was also cited for trespassing after hours in a state wildlife area. On April 8, Sarah King, 40, of Millsboro, was taken into custody on a Justice of the Peace Court 3 warrant and committed to Sussex Correctional Institute in default of bond. King and a companion were also cited for trespassing after hours in a state wildlife area. 
  • On April 5, a 24-year-old Wilmington man was cited for possession of an undersized snapping turtle, which the man had offered for sale online. Agents also issued a warning to the man about two other turtles found in his possession for which he did not have a permit. All three turtles were turned over to Division of Fish and Wildlife’s aquatic education staff. 

Citations issued by violation type included the following, with the number of charges in parentheses: 

Wildlife Conservation: Possession of a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle (1), hunting from a roadway (1), hunting wild turkey without required permit (1), failure to register wild turkey (1), illegal possession of wild turkey (1), hunting wild turkey during a closed season (1), and failure to wear required camouflage while hunting wild turkey (1), and possession of an undersized snapping turtle (1), New Castle County; Trespassing  after hours in a state wildlife area (8), illegally offering antlered deer parts for sale (2), commercialization of native wildlife (1), and an international wildlife trafficking violation for offering for sale a taxidermy-mounted bear (1)*, Sussex County. 

* A press release on the commercialization of wildlife case was issued earlier this week: Milford man charged with illegally selling mounted wildlife .

Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: Unlicensed fishing (6), fishing in a closed trout stream (3), over limit trout (1), and no trout stamp (1), New Castle County.

Public Safety: Parking violations related to trout season opening day (8), New Castle County.

 Other: Criminal mischief (1), and third degree conspiracy (1), Sussex County.

Are you AWARE?

 The Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Section reminds hunters that the 2013 Delaware spring turkey hunting season opens Saturday, April 13, and runs through Saturday, May 11. Hunting hours are a half-hour before sunrise until 1 p.m., Monday through Saturday. 

Delaware hunters are reminded that they must have successfully completed a mandatory one-day turkey hunter education class before they can legally hunt wild turkeys in Delaware. Turkey hunters also are required to carry their Hunter Education Card certifying successful completion of the course. Hunting on public lands is by preseason lottery permit only. Hunters must carry their public lands permit while hunting and may only hunt the designated area and season segment/dates specified in the permit.

 Bag limit is one bearded bird per year; birds without beards may not be taken. All birds taken must be checked by 2:30 p.m. on the day of the hunt at an authorized turkey check station. For a list of check stations, click Turkey Check Stations

For more information, pick up a copy of the 2012-2013 Delaware Hunting and Trapping Guide at your local hunting license dealer, or check it out online at Delaware Hunting Guide.

The DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife recognizes and thanks the majority of anglers, hunters and boaters who comply with and support Delaware’s fishing, hunting and boating laws and regulations. Citizens are encouraged to report fish and wildlife and boating violations to the Delaware Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Section by calling 302-739-4580. Wildlife violations may also be reported anonymously to Operation Game Theft by calling 800-292-3030 or online at www.dnrec.delaware.gov/fw/Hunting/Pages/OpGameTheft.aspx .

Contact:
Sgt. Gregory Rhodes, Division of Fish & Wildlife Enforcement, 302-739-9913 or 302-542-6102, or Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902

 

Vol. 43, No. 145

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