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, July 23.

In all, 865 new cases were announced this week, for a total of 14,202 positive cases of COVID-19 among Delaware residents, reported to DPH since March 11. This includes the 7,936 individuals who are considered recovered.

The Division of Public Health shifted this week to providing a seven-day average of the percentage of persons who tested positive rather than a five-day rolling average. The seven-day average decreased from 4.9 percent to 4.2 percent as of July 23.

In addition, DPH is also announcing that after once again completing a review of death certificate records from the Delaware Vital Events Registration System (DelVERS) and comparing that information to epidemiological surveillance data, DPH epidemiologists have identified 49 additional COVID-19 deaths that occurred between early May and late June, but were not previously reported to DPH through standard reporting procedures, but should be classified as confirmed or probable deaths, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) case definition.

The Division of Public Health announced a similar review last month, which had resulted in 67 additional deaths being added to the state’s death statistics. As stated previously, the epidemiology team at the Division of Public Health shared its COVID-19 death data with DPH’s Bureau of Health and Vital Statistics. To ensure the highest quality of data, the bureau’s staff performed a review of the death certifications in the Delaware Vital Events Registration System that list either COVID-19, or SARS CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) as a cause of death or a significant condition contributing to death. The purpose of this review was to ensure that DPH is accurately capturing the total number of COVID-19 related deaths based on both epidemiology surveillance and death certificate data.

Of the 49 deaths added to the state’s total death count, 37 are classified as confirmed due to there being a positive lab result of COVID-19 in DPH’s surveillance system, and 12 deaths are classified as probable, as, per the CDC case definition, the death certificate indicated COVID-19 or SARS CoV-2 as a cause or contributing factor to death.

The Division of Public Health will continue conduct periodic reviews of its Vital Records data each month to identify additional COVID-19 deaths, which could lead to ongoing increases in the state’s total number of COVID-19 deaths.

With the 49 additional COVID-19 related deaths added to the state’s statistics, 578 Delawareans have passed away due to complications from COVID-19. Individuals who have died from COVID-19 ranged in age from 21 to 104 years old. Of those who have died, 310 were females and 268 were males. A total of 283 individuals were from New Castle County, 105 were from Kent County, and 190 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.

The latest Delaware COVID-19 case statistics cumulatively since March 11, provided as of 6 p.m., Thursday, July 23, include:

  • 14,202 total positive cases
  • New Castle County cases: 6,408
  • Kent County cases: 2,102
  • Sussex County cases: 5,508
  • Unknown County: 184
  • Females: 7,827; Males: 2,815; Unknown Sex: 20
  • Age range: 0 to 104
  • Currently hospitalized: 55, including 9 critically ill (This data represents individuals currently hospitalized in a Delaware hospital regardless of residence, and is not cumulative.)
  • Delawareans recovered: 7,936
  • 150,124 negative cases (preliminary data, based on negative results reported to DPH by state and commercial laboratories performing analysis).

(Data are provisional and subject to change.)

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 Thursday evening. As of July 23, there have been a total of 1,166 positive COVID-19 cases cumulatively involving long-term care residents (six more than last week), and 356 residents of Delaware long-term care facilities have died from complications related to COVID-19 (23 more than last week).

The locations and number of deaths involving residents of Sussex County facilities are:

  • Atlantic Shores Rehabilitation and Health Center, Millsboro (17)
  • Brandywine Living at Seaside Pointe, Rehoboth Beach (2)
  • Cadia Healthcare Renaissance, Millsboro (6)
  • 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 on the Division of Public Health’s My Healthy Community data portal at de.gov/healthycommunity.

New guidelines for patients

The CDC recently updated its guidance related to discontinuation of self-isolation, so DPH has updated its guidance related to recovery. 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.

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 themself 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 call 711 or 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.