Governor Carney Formally Extends Public Health Emergency

LEWES, Del. – Governor John Carney on Thursday extended the Public Health Emergency order another 30 days. The extension allows the State of Delaware and medical providers to continue COVID-19 vaccination and testing programs,​ enables continued staffing flexibility at hospitals and long-term care facilities, and maintains the State of Delaware’s eligibility ​for low-income Delawareans to continue receiving enhanced federal food benefits.

Under Delaware law, Public Health Emergency declarations must be renewed every 30 days. 

Click here for Governor Carney’s Public Health Emergency extension. 

Visit de.gov/getmyvaccine to learn where to get your COVID-19 vaccine or booster. 

Visit de.gov/gettested to learn more about COVID-19 testing. 

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Get Boosted: DPH Urges Delawareans to Reinforce Vaccine Protection Against COVID-19

DOVER, DE (February 11, 2022) – The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) is providing an update on the most recent statistics related to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Delaware, as of Thursday, Feb 10, 2022. Over the past month, the state has seen a significant decrease in the average percentage of tests that are positive, declining from 32% on Jan. 11, 2022, to 10% on Feb. 10, 2022. The declining trends present a bright spot for the pandemic, however, DPH continues to reinforce the importance of infection prevention and vaccination, particularly the role of boosters in providing increased protection against COVID-19. 

Between Jan. 31 and Feb. 6, 2022, 82% of people who tested positive for COVID-19 in Delaware had not received a booster. The same was true for 81% of hospitalized patients with COVID-19. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study from April to December of 2021 showed people who were not vaccinated had five times higher risk of getting COVID-19 than adults who had been fully vaccinated and received a booster. Another CDC study showed getting a booster reduces the chance of needing to go the emergency room or being hospitalized by 94%, compared with being unvaccinated. 

“We know that getting vaccinated and boosted is key to reducing the chance of getting sick,” said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. She adds “Boosters are effective and extremely important for preventing infections but, more importantly, hospitalizations and deaths. Unfortunately, we surpassed 2600 COVID-19 related deaths this week. We have lost more than 400 Delawareans since Thanksgiving, most who were not up to date with their vaccines.” Booster vaccinations are available at any locations that offer the initial COVID-19 vaccine series. 

COVID-19 Cases and Hospitalizations: 

  • Total positive cases since March 11, 2020: 253,010
  • 7-day average of new positive cases: 378.7, a decrease of 228 from last week.
  • 7-day average for the percentage of total positive tests: 10.2%, a decrease of 5.3 percentage points from last week
  • Hospitalizations: 202, a decrease of 120 from last week; critically ill: 21, a decrease of 15 from last week
  • Total COVID-19 deaths: 2,601
  • Total COVID-19 deaths reported since last week: 38, including 12 from a review of vital statistics records.

COVID-19 Vaccinations:  

  • Total number of doses administered in Delaware: 1,669,853
  • Percentage of Delawareans 5+ who are fully vaccinated (CDC data): 70.8%
  • Percentage of Delawareans 12+ who are fully vaccinated (CDC data): 75.4%
  • Percentage of Delawareans 18+ who are fully vaccinated (CDC data): 76.9%
  • Percent of Delawareans who are fully vaccinated (CDC data): 66.8%

All qualifying Delawareans should get vaccinated. Individuals who qualify for a booster dose should get one as soon as possible. For the latest information on the COVID-19 vaccine in Delaware, visit de.gov/getmyvaccine. For information on boosters, visit de.gov/boosters. 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 vaccination status for cases, deaths, and hospitalizations for the time frame for Jan. 31 – Feb. 6. 

Weekly Overview(1/31/22 – 2/6/22) 

Unvaccinated Cases 

Total Unvaccinated / Partially Vaccinated Cases 

1838 

Total Cases 

3294 

Percent of Unvaccinated / Partially Vaccinated Cases 

56% 

Hospitalizations 

Unvaccinated / Partially Vaccinated Hospitalized  Cases 

61 

Total Hospitalized Cases 

101 

Percent of Unvaccinated / Partially Vaccinated Hospitalized  Cases 

60% 

Deaths 

Unvaccinated / Partially Vaccinated COVID-19 Deaths 

22 

Total COVID-19 Deaths 

29 

Percent of Unvaccinated / Partially Vaccinated COVID-19 Deaths 

76% 

Weekly Overview(1/31/22 – 2/6/22) 

Non-boosted Cases 

Total Non-boosted Cases 

2699 

Total Cases 

3294 

Percent of Non-boosted Cases 

82% 

Non-boosted Hospitalized Cases 

Total Non-boosted Hospitalized Cases 

82 

Total Hospitalized Cases 

101 

Percent of Non-boosted Cases 

81% 

Non-boosted Deaths 

Total Non-boosted Deaths 

25 

Total COVID-19 Deaths 

29 

Percent of Non-boosted Cases 

86% 

Breakthrough Cases (cumulative since vaccinations began): 

  • Total breakthrough cases: 21,004, or 3.56% of fully vaccinated individuals
  • Total breakthrough hospitalizations: 240
  • Total breakthrough deaths: 230

A breakthrough case is defined as testing positive for COVID-19 after an individual has been fully vaccinated for two weeks or more.  

*Please note, these data may be updated as additional information is received. 

COVID-19 Variant Cases in Delaware:   

The Division of Public Health this week launched a COVID-19 variant chart on its My Healthy Community COVID-19 data dashboard. The data show the weekly proportion of sequenced cases identified as Delta or Omicron over time. Because this data is now easily accessible through the data dashboard, DPH will discontinue this section of the weekly update going forward. The public is encouraged to visit [de.gov/healthycommunity]de.gov/healthycommunity for the latest variant data for Delaware.   

Long-term Care Statistics:  

As of Thursday, Feb 10, there have been a total of 3,052 positive COVID-19 cases involving long-term care residents, and 897 residents of Delaware long-term care facilities have died from complications related to COVID-19.  

Flu Update: 

There were 10 laboratory-confirmed cases reported the week of Jan. 30 – Feb. 5. As of Feb. 5, 2022, the most recent date for which flu statistics are available, there have been 626 laboratory-confirmed cases for the current season. The cases involved 432 individuals from New Castle County, 84 from Kent County and 110 from Sussex County. This number reflects only the number of lab-confirmed cases; the actual number of cases circulating statewide is likely higher as not all people with the flu seek treatment, and many cases are diagnosed through rapid test kits in a provider’s office versus a lab. 

All individuals 6 months and older are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated against the flu if they haven’t already. Flu vaccines are available at pharmacies (including those in grocery stores), participating medical provider offices, Federally Qualified Health Centers (for their patients), as well as Division of Public Health clinics. DPH is also advising the public that the flu vaccine can be administered at the same time as the COVID-19 vaccine. 

For the latest information on the flu in Delaware, visit flu.delaware.gov. 

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 

Delawareans 18 or older are encouraged to download COVID Alert DE, Delaware’s free exposure notification app to help protect your neighbors while ensuring your privacy. Download on the App Store or Google Play.  

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

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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. 

The Delaware Department of Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware’s citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations. 


DHSS lanza un número de teléfono para los que están confinados a su hogar para acceder a las vacunas de COVID-19

La agencia también lanza una campaña de marketing para animar a las personas con discapacidades y a las personas mayores a vacunarse

WILMINGTON (14 de Diciembre de 2021) – El Departamento de Salud y Servicios Sociales (DHSS) lanzó hoy un número gratuito para que los habitantes de Delaware soliciten vacunas de COVID-19 para personas mayores elegibles y personas con discapacidades que no pueden acceder a un lugar de vacunación debido a una discapacidad, edad o enfermedad grave. El DHSS también lanzó una campaña de marketing destinada a ayudar a las personas mayores y las personas con discapacidades a obtener respuestas a las preguntas que tengan sobre la vacuna y los refuerzos.

En el Programa de Vacunación en el Hogar, DHSS se está asociando con farmacias independientes en cada condado para entregar las vacunas a los residentes de Delaware de 5 años o mayores que cumplan con los requisitos. La vicegobernadora Bethany Hall-Long, la secretaria de DHSS Molly Magarik y otros anunciaron el nuevo programa de vacunación durante un evento el martes en una de las farmacias independientes, Ivira Pharmacy en Wilmington. Otras farmacias participantes son la ubicación de Ivira Pharmacy en Milford, Camden Pharmacy, Seaford Pharmacy y Express Pharmacy en Laurel.

“Nada es más importante que vacunar a más habitantes de Delaware,” dijo la vicegobernadora Bethany Hall-Long. “Como estado, estamos comprometidos a eliminar tantas barreras de accesibilidad como sea posible. Una línea gratuita a la que los residentes de Delaware y otras personas confinadas a sus casas puedan llamar para ser evaluados para una vacunación en su hogar es un paso importante. También lo es una nueva campaña de marketing con personas mayores de Delaware, cuidadores y personas con discapacidades.”

Todas las solicitudes de vacunación o refuerzos en el hogar se filtrarán a través de un número gratuito – 1-888-491-4988 – para ser evaluadas y programadas. Los operadores en vivo contarán con personal en la línea gratuita de 8 a.m. a 8 p.m. De lunes a viernes y de 8:30 a. M. A 6 p. M. Sábados. Para obtener más información, visite el sitio web de DHSS en VaccineAccessDE.com.

“Una de las muchas lecciones que hemos aprendido durante los 21 meses de esta pandemia es que tenemos que atender a las comunidades donde se encuentren,” dijo la secretaria del DHSS, Molly Magarik. “El anuncio de hoy trata atender a las personas con discapacidades, sus familias y las personas mayores donde se encuentren. Se trata de apoyarlos a obtener acceso a la vacuna de COVID-19 y refuerzos, y se trata de garantizar que podamos responder las preguntas únicas que tienen las personas mayores y las personas con discapacidades sobre la vacuna.”

A principios de este año, en la primera fase de su Programa de Vacunación en el Hogar, las enfermeras comunitarias de la División de Salud Pública y la División de Servicios para Adultos Mayores y con Discapacidades Físicas del DHSS, junto con enfermeras contratadas de la División de Servicios para Discapacidades del Desarrollo, trabajaron con la comunidad socios, incluido DART Para-transito, para identificar y vacunar a más de 500 residentes de Delaware que están confinados en sus hogares.

En relación con esta nueva fase del Programa de vacunación en el Hogar, DHSS está lanzando una campaña de marketing destinada a animar a las personas con discapacidades, sus familias y las personas mayores a llamar a la División de Salud Pública al 1-833-643-1715 si tienen preguntas sobre la vacuna de COVID-19 o para visitar la página web del DHSS para obtener información y recursos en VaccineAccessDE.com. Como parte de la campaña, las personas con discapacidades, los familiares y las personas mayores hablaron sobre lo que ha significado para ellos recibir la vacuna de COVID-19. La campaña se financia a través de una subvención de la Administración para la vida comunitaria de EE. UU.

“Es importante para nosotros lanzar esta campaña que se dirija específicamente a las preguntas y preocupaciones que puedan tener los habitantes de Delaware mayores y las personas con discapacidades y sus familias,” dijo Melissa Smith, directora de la División de Servicios para Ancianos y Adultos con Discapacidades Físicas del DHSS. “Estamos entusiasmados porque podemos exhibir en esta campaña a los habitantes de Delaware que cuentan sus propias historias en mensajes impresos y en video para ayudar a otros a sentirse cómodos al hacer preguntas y buscar las acomodaciones que puedan necesitar para recibir la vacuna.”

Los Centros para el Control y la Prevención de Enfermedades (CDC, por sus siglas en inglés) han descubierto que las personas con discapacidades y las personas mayores tienen un alto riesgo de enfermedad grave, hospitalización y muerte por COVID-19. En Delaware, aproximadamente el 80% de las 2218 personas que murieron por COVID-19 tenían 65 años o más.

Para ayudar a proteger a las personas en grupos vulnerables, es importante que todos se vacunen, practiquen el distanciamiento social, usen máscaras en el interior en público, se hagan las pruebas según sean necesarias y se laven las manos. En Delaware, casi el 63% de todos los habitantes de Delaware están completamente vacunados, incluyendo más del 91% de quienes tienen 65 años o más. Pero solo el 55% de las personas mayores de 65 años han recibido refuerzos.

Aunque Delaware no tiene datos sobre el porcentaje de personas con discapacidades que están vacunadas, alrededor del 79% de los adultos estadounidenses con discapacidades han informado haber recibido al menos una dosis de la vacuna de COVID-19, en comparación con el 84% de los adultos sin discapacidades, según a una Encuesta de pulso de hogares del censo de EE. UU. La encuesta de la Oficina del Censo, que se llevó a cabo entre más de 100,000 adultos en dos fases de junio a agosto de este año, encontró que las disparidades entre las personas con discapacidades persistieron en todos los grupos de edad, en la mayoría de las categorías de raza y etnia, y en todos los tipos de discapacidad, a pesar de que los adultos con discapacidad informaron menos vacilaciones para vacunarse.

Un estudio de CDC, publicado en Octubre, encontró que los adultos con una discapacidad anticipan o experimentan más dificultades para recibir las vacunas de COVID-19 que los adultos sin una discapacidad. Para ayudar a mejorar las tasas de vacunación, CDC recomendó reducir las barreras para la programación de la vacunación y hacer que los lugares de vacunación sean más accesibles.


DHSS to Launch Toll-Free Number for Eligible Delawareans Who Are Homebound to Access COVID-19 Vaccinations

Agency Also Kicks off Marketing Campaign to Encourage Seniors, Individuals with Disabilities to Get Vaccinated

WILMINGTON (Dec. 14, 2021) – The Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) today announced a new toll-free number for Delawareans to request COVID-19 vaccinations for eligible seniors and people with disabilities who cannot access a vaccination location because of disability, age or severe illness. DHSS also kicked off a marketing campaign aimed at supporting seniors and individuals with disabilities to get answers to questions they have about the vaccine and boosters.

[En Espanol]

In the Homebound Vaccination Program, DHSS is partnering with independent pharmacies in each county to deliver the vaccinations to eligible Delawareans 5 and older. Lt. Governor Bethany Hall-Long, DHSS Secretary Molly Magarik and others announced the new vaccination program during an event Tuesday at one of the independent pharmacies, Ivira Pharmacy in Wilmington. Other participating pharmacies are Ivira Pharmacy’s location in Milford, Camden Pharmacy, Seaford Pharmacy, and Express Pharmacy in Laurel.

“Nothing is more important than getting more Delawareans vaccinated,” Lt. Governor Bethany Hall-Long said. “As a state, we are committed to removing as many barriers to access as possible. A toll-free line that older Delawareans and others who are homebound can call to be assessed for an at-home vaccination is an important step. So, too, is a new marketing campaign featuring older Delawareans, caregivers and individuals with disabilities.”

Starting Dec. 15, all requests for a homebound vaccination or booster will be filtered through a toll-free number – 1-888-491-4988 – to be assessed and scheduled. Live operators will staff the toll-free line from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays. To learn more, visit DHSS’ website at VaccineAccessDE.com.

“One of the many lessons we’ve learned during the 21 months of this pandemic is that we have to meet communities where they are,” DHSS Secretary Molly Magarik said. “Today’s announcement is about meeting seniors, individuals with disabilities, their families and caregivers where they are. It’s about supporting them in getting access to the COVID-19 vaccine and boosters, and it’s about ensuring that we can answer the unique questions that seniors and people with disabilities have about the vaccine.”

Earlier this year, in the first phase of its Homebound Vaccination Program, community nurses with DHSS’ Division of Public Health and Division of Services for Aging and Adults with Physical Disabilities, along with contract nurses with the Division of Developmental Disabilities Services, worked with community partners, including DART Paratransit, to identify and vaccinate more than 500 Delawareans who are homebound.

In connection with this new phase, DHSS is launching a marketing campaign aimed at encouraging individuals with disabilities, their families and seniors to call the Division of Public Health at 1-833-643-1715 if they have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine or to visit DHSS’ webpage for information and resources at VaccineAccessDE.com. As part of the campaign, seniors, individuals with disabilities and their family members talked about what getting the COVID-19 vaccine has meant to them. The campaign is funded through grants from the U.S. Administration for Community Living.

“It is important for us to launch this campaign that specifically addresses the questions and concerns that older Delawareans and individuals with disabilities and their families may have,” said Melissa Smith, Director of DHSS’ Division of Services for Aging and Adults with Physical Disabilities. “We are excited because it features Delawareans telling their own stories in print and video messages in order to help others feel comfortable about reaching out with questions and any accommodations they might need to get the vaccine.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found that people with disabilities and seniors are at high risk for serious illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. In Delaware, about 80% of the 2,218 people who have died from COVID-19 were 65 or older.

To help protect people in vulnerable groups, it’s important that everyone get vaccinated, practice social distancing, wear face masks indoors in public, get tested as needed, and wash their hands. In Delaware, almost 63% of all Delawareans are fully vaccinated, including more than 91% of those age 65 or older. But only 55% of seniors 65 or older have gotten their boosters.

While Delaware does not have data on the percentage of people with disabilities who are vaccinated, about 79% of American adults with disabilities have reported receiving at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, compared with 84% of adults without a disability, according to a U.S. Census Household Pulse Survey. The Census Bureau survey, which was conducted among more than 100,000 adults in two phases from June to August of this year, found that the disparities among individuals with disabilities persisted across all age groups, in most race and ethnicity categories, and across all types of disability, even though adults with a disability reported less hesitancy to getting vaccinated.

A CDC study, published in October, found that adults with a disability anticipate or experience more difficulty getting COVID-19 vaccinations than adults without a disability. To help improve vaccination rates, the CDC recommended reducing barriers to vaccination scheduling and making vaccination sites more accessible.


COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Updates for Long-Term Care Facilities, Health Care Facilities, and State Employees

Staff must provide proof of vaccination or get tested regularly for COVID-19

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor Carney and the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) on Thursday announced that ​beginning on September 30, staff in long-term care and other health care facilities will be required to provide proof of vaccination or to undergo regular testing to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 to vulnerable populations. 

“There’s no better way to protect our most vulnerable neighbors from this virus than getting the COVID-19 vaccine,” said Governor Carney. “If you haven’t gotten your COVID-19 vaccine yet, consider it. Vaccination is how we’ll make sure our communities get healthier and continue to build a great future in our state.”

The requirement also will be formalized by the end of this month and will cover the following entities regulated by the DHSS Division of Health Care Quality (DHCQ):

Long-Term Care Facilities:

  • Nursing homes
  • Assisted-living facilities
  • Intermediate-care facility for persons with developmental or intellectual disabilities
  • Neighborhood homes
  • Group homes for persons with serious and persistent mental illness
  • Group homes for persons with HIV/AIDS
  • Family care homes
  • Rest residential facilities
  • Intensive behavioral support and educational residences

Acute and Outpatient Providers:

  • Adult day cares
  • Free-standing birthing centers
  • Free-standing emergency departments
  • Free-standing surgical centers
  • Home health agencies: aide only (non-skilled)
  • Skilled home health agencies
  • Hospitals (including psychiatric hospitals)
  • Prescribed pediatric extended care centers
  • Hospice
  • Personal assistance service agencies
  • Office-based surgery

Click here to view where these new regulations will be posted by the end of the month.

Click here to view the emergency regulations announced earlier this week that require all individuals kindergarten-age and older to wear masks indoors at K-12 schools and child care facilities beginning August 16, 2021.

Additionally, Governor Carney announced Thursday that beginning on September 30, 2021, State of Delaware employees will also be required to provide proof of vaccination or undergo regular testing for COVID-19. Additional information will be provided to state employees by the Delaware Department of Human Resources.

Governor Carney and the Division of Public Health also encouraged private employers to impose similar requirements to encourage vaccinations. While the state’s requirements will offer employees the choice between getting vaccinated or getting tested, federal guidance permits employers to require vaccinations, as several Delaware employers have decided to do.

As of Wednesday, August 11, 73.9 percent of Delaware adults, and 71.8 percent of those 12 and older, have received at least one shot of the COVID-19 vaccine. Visit de.gov/getmyvaccine to find a free COVID-19 vaccination provider near you. 

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Governor Carney Announces COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Updates for Long-Term Care Facilities, Health Care Facilities, and State Employees