The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) provided its weekly Friday update on the most recent statistics related to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Delaware, as of 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 3.

In all, 669 new cases were announced this week (which includes up to 200 that had been previously omitted) for a total of 17,752 positive cases of COVID-19 among Delaware residents, reported to DPH since March 11. This includes the 9,582 individuals who are considered recovered.

The seven-day average for the percentage of persons who tested positive for COVID-19 increased slightly from 4.4 to 4.6 percent as of Thursday, Sept. 3. In addition, 58 individuals are currently hospitalized (12 are critically ill), which is one more person compared to last week.

With two new fatalities this week, 606 total Delawareans have passed away due to complications from COVID-19. Individuals ranged in age from 21 to 104 years old. Of those who have died, 319 were female and 287 were male. A total of 301 individuals were from New Castle County, 110 were from Kent County, and 195 were from Sussex County.

To protect personal health information, DPH will not confirm specific information about any individual case, even if other persons or entities disclose it independently.

Information about testing events, including community testing sites and free-standing sites operated by the health care systems and hospitals, will be listed on the testing section of the Delaware coronavirus website at: coronavirus.delaware.gov/testing.

Psychiatric center reverts to precautionary measures

Two clients and eight staff members at the Department of Health and Social Services’ Delaware Psychiatric Center have tested positive for COVID-19 since Aug. 24. The first person to test positive on Aug. 24 is now recovered. The clients are isolated at DPC to decrease the spread of the virus and the staff are isolated at home. All clients, family members and staff have been notified. DPC has halted all reopening procedures and reverted to COVID Standard Operating Procedures, including no visitors or non-essential personnel allowed into the building. The DPH is actively involved and completing the case investigations. The Delaware Psychiatric Center is following the DPH recommendations for weekly COVID testing of all staff and patients for at least the next two weeks.

Data quality review leads to changes

To ensure the highest quality of data, the DPH epidemiology team regularly performs data quality audits of the state’s COVID-19 case records. DPH recently identified a technical issue that caused approximately 175-200 historical positive cases to be omitted from the state’s cumulative positive case count. All of these cases were processed through the state’s contact tracing program, but they were not captured in the state’s statistical reporting on the COVID-19 data website. The technical issue identified has been resolved and should not impact future case totals. As DPH works to add these cases to the state’s tallies to most accurately reflect Delaware’s total positive case count, the public may notice an increase in the cumulative number of positive cases displayed on the My Healthy Community data portal over next several days (http://de.gov/healthycommunity).

As a reminder, members of the media and the general public are highly encouraged to view the data presented in the “New Positive Cases” graph on the My Healthy Community online dashboard for the latest data on new infections reported each day, and the most accurate data trends based on the date cases are reported to DPH.

Delaware COVID-19 data:

The latest Delaware COVID-19 case statistics cumulatively since March 11, provided as of 6 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 3, include:

  • 17,752 total positive cases
  • New Castle County cases: 8,415
  • Kent County cases: 2,678
  • Sussex County cases: 6,365
  • Unknown County: 294
  • Females: 9,524; Males: 8,198; Unknown Sex: 30
  • Age range: 0 to 104
  • Currently hospitalized: 58, including 12 critically ill (This data represents individuals currently hospitalized in a Delaware hospital regardless of residence, and is not cumulative.)
  • Delawareans recovered: 9,582
  • 228,890 negative tests (preliminary data, based on negative results reported to DPH by state and commercial laboratories performing analysis).

(Data are provisional and subject to change.)

Generally, Delaware is now considering patients recovered after at least 24 hours have passed since the resolution of fever (without the use of fever-reducing medications) and/or improvement in symptoms, and at least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared. Individuals who tested positive who have not had any symptoms are considered recovered after at least 10 days have passed since the date of their first positive COVID-19 test with no subsequent illness.

Long-term care statistics

Information related to positive cases and deaths among residents at long-term care facilities will be updated weekly each Friday, using information reported as of 6 p.m. Thursday evening. There has been a total of 1,230 positive COVID-19 cases cumulatively involving long-term care residents, and 368 residents of Delaware long-term care facilities have died from complications related to COVID-19.

Sussex County deaths involving residents of long-term care facilities include:

  • Atlantic Shores Rehabilitation and Health Center, Millsboro (17)
  • Brandywine Living at Seaside Pointe, Rehoboth Beach (2)
  • Cadia Healthcare Renaissance, Millsboro (9)
  • Harbor Healthcare and Rehabilitation, Lewes (20)
  • Harrison House Senior Living, Georgetown (40)
  • Milford Center, Genesis Healthcare, Milford (35)

Additional demographic data on COVID-19 cases and deaths, including race/ethnicity, more age-specific data and rates information by ZIP code, can be found online at the DPH My Healthy Community data portal at de.gov/healthycommunity.

Data quality review

To ensure the highest quality of data, the DPH epidemiology team is currently conducting a data quality review of the state’s COVID-19 case records to identify any duplicate records that may exist in the DPH surveillance system. While duplicate records are regularly identified and subsequently removed from the statistical file, this broad data review will ensure accuracy in the state’s data reporting. As a result of this review, the public may notice a decrease in the cumulative number of positive cases displayed on the My Healthy Community data portal over the coming days early next week. Members of the media and the general public are highly encouraged to view the “New Positive Cases” graph on the My Healthy Community dashboard for the most accurate data trends based on the date cases are reported to DPH.

Questions of all kinds

Anyone who is sick with any of the following symptoms should stay home: fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, muscle aches, fatigue, chills, shaking with chills, loss of smell or taste, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, congestion or runny nose without a known cause (such as allergies). Other symptoms such as abdominal pain or lack of appetite have been identified as potential symptoms related to COVID-19 and may prompt further screening, action or investigation by a primary care provider. Anyone who is sick should avoid going into public spaces and should ask someone else to pick up essential supplies from the grocery store or the pharmacy.

Anyone who thinks they have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, or have symptoms of illness, is being advised to make sure to distance themselves from others, particularly vulnerable populations. Older adults and people of any age with serious underlying medical conditions — including serious heart conditions, chronic lung conditions, including moderate to severe asthma, severe obesity and those who are immunocompromised, including through cancer treatment — might be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

People with complaints about individuals violating public gathering restrictions should contact state or local law enforcement. Concerns that a business may be violating operating restrictions should be directed to: HSPContact@delaware.gov. Questions related to business re-openings or operations as businesses reopen should go to COVID19FAQ@delaware.gov.

Anyone with a question about COVID-19, whether related to medical or social service needs, should call Delaware 211, or email info@delaware211.org. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing can text their ZIP code to 898-211. Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Medically related questions regarding testing, symptoms, and health-related guidance can be submitted by email at DPHCall@delaware.gov. Questions related to business re-openings or operations as businesses reopen should go to COVID19FAQ@delaware.gov. Questions regarding unemployment claims should be emailed to: UIClaims@delaware.gov.

Any Delaware healthcare, long-term care, residential or other high-risk facility with questions or concerns can email DPH_PAC@delaware.gov or call the DPH Call Center at 1-866-408-1899 (ext. 2).

For all information on Delaware’s response, visit de.gov/coronavirus.