On Tuesday, March 24, 2020, the Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) provided an update on the number of positive cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) reported in the state. There have been 104 total laboratory-confirmed cases in the state since March 11. This includes 17 additional cases since Monday. Of the Delawareans diagnosed with COVID-19, 71 are from New Castle County, 10 are from Kent County, and 23 are from Sussex County.
Of the 104 cases, 51 are male and 53 are female. The individuals range in age from 1 to 90. Eleven individuals are currently hospitalized; five are critically ill. The source of exposure for many of these positive cases is unknown, which indicates community spread of the virus is occurring in the state. To protect personal health information, DPH will not disclose additional information about the individuals. DPH cannot confirm specific information even if other entities choose to make their own announcements.
Monday, Governor John Carney declared a Public Health Emergency in Delaware. The declaration strengthened Delaware’s health care workforce by enabling those medical professionals with out-of-state licenses, or who are retired but in good standing, to support Delaware’s health care workforce needs. On Sunday, March 22, Governor Carney issued the fourth and fifth modifications to his State of Emergency declaration, ordering Delawareans to stay at home whenever possible and closing all non-essential businesses in the state to help stop community spread of COVID-19. The orders went into effect at 8:00 a.m. today.
If you think you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, or have symptoms of illness, make sure to distance yourself from others, particularly vulnerable populations. This includes people 60 years of age and older; people with serious chronic health conditions such as diabetes, lung disease, heart disease; or those who are immunocompromised.
For individuals who are sick, stay home and contact your primary care provider for guidance regarding symptoms and next steps.
“While the hallmark symptoms associated with COVID-19 are fever, cough and shortness of breath, we are noticing initial symptoms of those who test positive for the virus often include body aches and sore throat. The Division of Public Health recommends individuals stay home if these symptoms are present,” said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. “This underscores the evolving aspects of this situation and how individuals react differently to the virus. The bottom line is that even if you do not have the prominent symptoms described for this virus, it is vitally important that you stay home and self-isolate if you are sick to prevent spread of illness to others.”
Statewide testing at standing health facility testing sites began on Monday, March 23. These are not walk-in testing sites. A physician’s order or prescription is required for testing at one of the standing test sites (*Bayhealth patients will be pre-screened via phone without needing to see a provider first). Those without a primary care provider can call the DPH Call Center Line at 1-888-408-1899. Individuals awaiting test results, should wait to hear back from their medical provider. The DPH Call Center does not have test results.
Delawareans with general questions about COVID-19 or their exposure risk can call the Division of Public Health’s Coronavirus Call Center at 1-866-408-1899, or 711 for individuals who are hearing-impaired, from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Questions can also be submitted by email at DPHCall@delaware.gov.