The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) on Tuesday, June 23, reported two additional fatalities related to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and 27 additional positive cases. All data reported through the daily updates are based on data received as of 6 p.m. the previous day.
In addition, DPH also announced on Tuesday that after 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 had identified 67 additional COVID-19 deaths dating back to April 2020 that 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 & Prevention (CDC) case definition.
To ensure the highest quality of data, officials said, the epidemiology team at the Division of Public Health shared its COVID-19 death data with DPH’s Bureau of Health & Vital Statistics. 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 the 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, they said.
The death data comparison identified:
- 32 individuals who were already identified as a confirmed COVID-19 case in the epidemiological surveillance system, but for which DPH did not receive a subsequent report of the person’s death;
- 26 individuals who did not have a record of a lab result for COVID-19 in the surveillance system;
- 9 individuals who had previously tested negative for COVID-19, but for which the deceased person’s death certificate subsequently listed COVID-19 or SARS CoV-2 as a cause of, or a significant condition contributing to, death.
DPH was also able to determine that approximately 75 percent of the decedents died at a long-term care facility, according to the death records. DPH is working to communicate the reporting requirements with long-term care facilities and hospitals in the state to ensure full accuracy and transparency.
Of the 67 deaths added to the state’s total death count, 32 were classified as confirmed, due to there being a positive lab result of COVID-19 in DPH’s surveillance system, and 35 deaths were 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.
In the future, officials said, DPH will conduct periodic reviews of its Vital Records data to identify additional COVID-19 deaths, which could lead to ongoing increases in the state’s total number of COVID-19 deaths.
With the 67 additional COVID-19 related deaths added to the state’s statistics, as of 6 p.m. on Monday, June 22, 504 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, 267 were female and 237 were male. A total of 239 individuals were from New Castle County, 89 were from Kent County, and 176 were from Sussex County.
The two most recent deaths announced on Tuesday were ages 72 and 85. One individual was female and one was male. One was a New Castle County resident and one was a Sussex County resident. One individual had known underlying health conditions. One individual was a resident of a long-term care facility.
The latest Delaware COVID-19 case statistics cumulatively since March 11, as of 6 p.m., Monday, June 22, include:
- 10,847 total positive cases
- New Castle County cases: 4,697
- Kent County cases: 1,624
- Sussex County cases: 4,501
- Unknown County: 17
- Females: 6,006; Males: 4,824; Unknown: 17
- Age range: 0 to 104
- Currently hospitalized: 91, including 15 critically ill (This data represents individuals currently hospitalized in a Delaware hospital regardless of residence, and is not cumulative.)
- Delawareans recovered: 6,554
- 86,689 negative cases (preliminary data, based on negative results reported to DPH by state and commercial laboratories performing analysis)
Delaware is considering patients fully recovered seven days after the resolution of their symptoms. Three days after symptoms resolve, patients are no longer required to self-isolate at home; however, they must continue to practice strict social distancing for the remaining four days before returning to their normal daily routine.
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 (https://myhealthycommunity.dhss.delaware.gov/locations/state).
Quarantine, recovery, testing
Significant statewide expansion of the state’s COVID-19 testing program, in partnership with Delaware’s hospital systems, community health care centers, primary care providers, and long-term care facilities will allow the State of Delaware to conduct 80,000 tests monthly.
People should stay home if they are sick with fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, muscle fatigue, or digestive symptoms, such as vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain or lack of appetite. Anyone who is sick and needs essential supplies should ask someone else to go to the grocery store or the pharmacy to get what they need.
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.
Last week, DPH Community Health employees began conducting contact tracing and case investigations in the community. DPH field teams of two will personally visit individuals for whom DPH has no phone number to advise them they have a positive test result for COVID-19, or have been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
The DPH employees will have state employee identification and most likely will be wearing a shirt that identifies them as a DPH employee. They will also be wearing a mask, gloves and may even be wearing a face shield.
They will request permission to ask the person a series of questions, but will not request to enter the home unless they are unable to maintain the individual's privacy outside the home. Contact tracers do not ask for bank account or Social Security information.
An individual's information will not be shared with any person or organization, and will only be used to help DPH monitor a person's health status through additional phone calls to that person to help stop the spread of the disease. DPH does not release any personal information to the public. For additional information about contact tracing, visit https://coronavirus.delaware.gov/contact-tracing/.
Anyone with a question about COVID-19, whether related to medical or social service needs, should call Delaware 211; or 711 for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing, 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.
In addition, the Division of Public Health asks any Delaware health care, long-term care, residential or other high-risk facility with questions or concerns to DPH_PAC@delaware.gov or call the DPH Call Center at 1-866-408-1899 and press ext. 2.
Questions can also be submitted by email at DPHCall@delaware.gov.
Individuals who have complaints about out-of-state individuals violating the Governor’s State of Emergency Order, or violating the public gathering restrictions, should contact state or local law enforcement. Concerns that a businesses may be violating operating restrictions should be directed to: COVID.DOJ@delaware.gov. Questions related to business re-openings or operations as businesses reopen should go to COVID19FAQ@delaware.gov.
Individuals with questions about COVID-19 should call Delaware 2-1-1, or email email@example.com. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing can text their ZIP code to 898-211. Hours of operation are 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 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 regarding unemployment claims should be emailed to: UIClaims@delaware.gov.
For all information on Delaware’s response, visit de.gov/coronavirus.