Governor’s Weekly Message: Honoring Delaware’s Olympians

Wilmington, DE – In his weekly message, Governor Markell honors Delaware’s athletes competing in Rio.

“Over the next few weeks the world’s attention will turn to Brazil as 11,000 athletes from more than 200 countries compete in the Summer Olympic Games,” Governor Markell said. “They are an inspiration to me, and a great example to our young people – whatever their dreams are. And that will keep Delaware moving forward.”

Every week, the Governor’s office releases a new Weekly Message in video, audio, and transcript form. The message is available on:

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Transcript of the Governor’s Weekly Message: Honoring Delaware Olympians

Beat the Heat: Make a Plan

DOVER – While Delaware has yet to experience a significant heat wave in 2016, the Division of Public Health (DPH) is taking the opportunity at the beginning of the summer to remind residents to prepare for excessive heat as the temperatures start to go up.

DPH advises Delawareans to expect heat waves when the temperature exceeds 95 degrees. Climate change is causing the average high temperature to increase and for there to be longer and more frequent periods of extreme heat. Our bodies have less chance to recover during hot days and warm nights, placing everyone at risk for heat-related illness. When temperatures and humidity are high, sweat ceases to evaporate and the body’s natural cooling system slows down or shuts down completely. Hot weather can cause heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and severe respiratory conditions, which can be fatal.

Extreme heat is especially dangerous for seniors, young children, people with disabilities, and people with breathing conditions and other chronic medical conditions, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and other respiratory and cardiovascular problems. Also at risk are people without access to air conditioning, fans, or cooling shelters.

DPH suggests that every household make a heat wave plan in case of a power outage. Air conditioners should be serviced and electric fans should be obtained now, before the heat rises to dangerous levels. Cases of bottled water should be kept on hand and residents should listen to local news reports for the locations of community “cooling centers,” which are often public libraries or churches. During days of extreme heat, Delawareans should check on vulnerable members of their families and neighbors.

DPH also urges pet owners to make a plan for caring for their pets. Animals at the greatest risk of stress from the heat include pregnant or lactating animals, very young and older animals, animals with darker coats, obese pets, short-nosed dog breeds, and animals with chronic health conditions. Signs of heat stress can include panting, increased salivation, restlessness, and muscle spasms.

In dogs and cats, such signs can include rapid panting, increased heartbeat and body temperature, weakness, lack of coordination, bright red or pale and sticky gums, vomiting, diarrhea, and depression. Owners can take steps to protect their pets by providing shade or moving animals to shaded pens, providing plenty of cool drinking water, avoiding unnecessary transportation, and walking pets.
Delaware 2-1-1 connects Delawareans with critical services and support. Eligible callers can receive referrals to summer cooling and crisis assistance, the City of Wilmington’s Free Electric Fan Program for seniors, and nearby cooling centers.

Tips to prevent heat illness:

• Do not leave a child or pets alone in a parked car, even for a minute. Call 911 if you see a child or pet left unattended in a vehicle. Carry water with you and drink continuously even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid drinks containing sugar, alcohol, or caffeine, which dehydrate the body. Check with a doctor before increasing fluid intake if you have epilepsy, heart, kidney, or liver disease, or if you are on a fluid-restrictive diet. Avoid using salt tablets unless directed to do so by a physician. Visit for more information.

• Stay indoors on the lowest floor possible. When outdoors, wear lightweight, light-colored clothing. Wear a hat or use an umbrella. Use sunscreen. Sunburn slows the skin’s ability to cool itself, and has been linked to skin cancer. Avoid extreme temperature changes. Be careful trying to cool down too quickly; a cold shower immediately after coming in from hot temperatures can lead to hypothermia, particularly for the elderly and children. In these cases, cool water is better than ice cold water.

• Limit outdoor activity, especially mid-day when the sun is hottest. Work out or hold team practices early in the morning or in the early evening. A CDC online course for coaches, athletic trainers, students, school nurses, parents, and teachers is at

Heed the following heat danger warning signs and take suggested actions:
• Heat cramps occur in the muscles of the limbs or abdomen occurring during or after physical activity in high heat. Sweating results in a loss of fluids and salts that cause muscle cramps. Address heat cramps by resting in a cool place and drinking plenty of water.

• Heat exhaustion is more severe, occurring when a person is overheated along with reduced or unbalanced intake of fluids. Symptoms include dehydration, fatigue, weakness, clammy skin, headache, nausea and/or vomiting, rapid breathing, irritability, and fainting. Take these simple steps to reduce heat exhaustion: Move the person indoors or into shade. Loosen or remove the person’s clothing. Encourage the person with heat exhaustion to eat and drink. Get the person to a cool shower or bath. Call your doctor for further advice.

• Heat stroke occurs when the body can no longer cool itself, and can be a life-threatening event. Prompt medical treatment is required. Symptoms include: flushed, hot and dry skin with no sweating; high body temperature (above 103 degrees F, taken orally); severe, throbbing headache; weakness, dizziness, or confusion; sluggishness or fatigue; decreased responsiveness; and loss of consciousness. If heat stroke occurs, take these steps: Call 9-1-1 immediately. This is a medical emergency. Get the heat stroke victim indoors or into shade. Get the person into a cool shower or bath or wipe them down with continuously soaked cool washcloths while awaiting emergency responders.

For more information, visit the CDC at

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

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.

Skin Cancer Prevention for Warm Weather



DOVER The spring and summer sun is back, and so is #ProtectYourSkinDE, a skin cancer prevention campaign from the Division of Public Health (DPH).  Digital, outdoor, and social media efforts will send Delawareans to, where visitors can find a dermatologist, better educate themselves about how to reduce their skin cancer risk, and learn from the experiences of others.  Delaware’s skin cancer incidence rate is significantly higher than the national average.  The state ranked fourth-highest in the U.S. for incidence of melanoma, the most deadly and often underestimated form of skin cancer, in the most recent published report (2006-2010).

Many people don’t think of skin cancer as deadly. So, unlike other kinds of cancer, the mortality rates are climbing – due in part to a lack of sun protection and also because people are not going to the doctor when they see something suspicious on their skin,” said Heather Brown, DPH Cancer Control Program Director. “Screening leads to early detection – the earlier skin cancer is detected, the better the outcome.”

While the campaign takes place in the spring and summer, UV protection is a year-round effort.  Any combination of long-term sun exposure, sunbathing, sunburns or tanning bed use increases the chance of developing skin cancer. Protection from the sun’s UV rays could prevent 90 percent of all skin cancer cases.  And in a state with significant amounts of beachgoers, farmers, and outdoor workers, DPH works to educate Delawareans about sun protection and increase the number of people getting screened. In-person efforts begin on “Don’t Fry Day” (May 22), when health officials will be next to the Rehoboth Bandstand, offering sunscreen, “sun-sensitive” educational items, and informative games and materials.

Since 80 percent of lifetime ultraviolet (UV) radiation exposure occurs during childhood, the campaign will include in-person education with Delaware’s youth.  Several Delaware high schools are participating in a signature contest, where students will pledge to wear SPF 15 or higher sunscreen.  Additionally, health officials will visit summer camps across the state for interactive trivia, a drawing activity, and to hand out sunscreen.

The #ProtectYourSkinDE campaign runs throughout the spring and summer. In-person event visits will include:

Wednesday, May 20

10:35 a.m.

Wilmington Blue Rocks game

801 Shipyard Drive, Wilmington, DE 19801

Friday, May 22

Noon to 4:00 p.m. Don’t Fry Day at the Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk

Rehoboth Avenue, Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971

Saturday, June 27 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Fifer Orchards Blueberry Festival

1919 Allabands Mill Road, Camden Wyoming, DE 19934

Wednesday, July 15 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Family Fun Night at the Brandywine Zoo

1001 N. Park Drive, Wilmington, DE 19802

Tuesday, July 28

9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Delaware State Fair: Health Fair for Kids

18500 South DuPont Highway, Harrington, DE 19952

 Saturday, Aug. 1

10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Fifer Orchards Peach Festival

1919 Allabands Mill Road, Camden Wyoming, DE 19934

Saturday, Aug. 8

Zap Amateur World Championships of Skimboarding

New Orleans Street, Dewey Beach, DE 19971

Thursday, Aug. 13

6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Family Fun Night at the Brandywine Zoo

1001 N. Park Drive, Wilmington, DE 19802

People who are fair-skinned or who have blue or green eyes hold the greatest risk of skin cancer, as well as those exposed to the sun through work and play.  All people must keep a watchful eye out for large or irregularly shaped moles.  Regular self-examinations and visits to a dermatologist are essential.  If the cancer is detected early, it becomes less likely that it will spread to other body parts.

For more information, contact the Delaware Division of Public Health’s Comprehensive Cancer Control Program at 2-1-1 or visit or


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

Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Cell 302-357-7498

Delaware Health and Social ServicesDivision of Public Health

Safe Start To Summer

Memorial Day weekend DUI and seat belt enforcement

Dover – The Delaware Office of Highway Safety (OHS) is wishing everyone a safe start to summer with their celebrations this Memorial Day weekend.  Officers will be working overtime to keep everyone safe as they travel by reminding motorists to buckle up and removing impaired drivers from the roadways.

Impaired driving overtime enforcement will be conducted over the weekend by Dover PD, New Castle City PD, New Castle County PD, Newark PD, Rehoboth Beach PD, Wilmington PD, and Delaware State Police.  The Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement campaign began May 12th and continues through Memorial Day weekend with 35 police departments and Delaware State Police participating statewide.

To stay safe and arrive alive, OHS has some road safety tips for Memorial Day weekend.

  1. Check your speed. Plan your route in advance and be prepared to spend more time reaching your destination rather than speeding to get there faster.
  2. Obey intersection safety rules. Motorcyclists, pedestrian, and bicyclist traffic also increases during the weekend. Traffic signals and stop signs are in place to maintain safe roadways for drivers, passengers and pedestrians sharing the road.
  3. Buckle up. All passengers in the vehicle should use seat belts to keep them safe in the event of a crash.
  4. If you are drinking, do not drive. Designate a non-drinking driver or plan for alternative transportation.

For more information visit, and follow regular campaign updates on Twitter at and Facebook