From Cape Gazette
Cases, hospitalizations and rate of infection are all trending downward in the latest statistics released Feb. 18 by the Delaware Division of Public Health.
There are 173 individuals hospitalized due to COVID-19 in Delaware, which is a decrease of 74 as of this time last week. Twenty of the hospitalized persons are critically ill, down 3 from last week.
The seven-day average for the percentage of persons who tested positive for COVID-19 was 19 percent, a decrease from 21.5 percent as of Feb. 11. As of Feb. 16, the seven-day average for the percentage of total tests that were positive was 4.8 percent, a decrease from 6 percent Feb. 9.
A total of 84,181 positive cases of COVID-19 among Delaware residents have been reported to DPH since March 11, 2020, and the seven-day average of new positive cases has decreased to 280.3.
A total of 1,343 Delawareans have passed away due to complications from COVID-19. The state reported 74 additional deaths since last week’s update. The total number of individuals who have died from COVID-19 ranges in age from younger than 5 to 104 years old. Of those who have died, 679 were female and 664 were male. A total of 644 individuals were from New Castle County, 281 were from Kent County, and 418 were from Sussex County.
To date, DPH has identified seven confirmed cases of the UK COVID-19 variant. The cases include six adults ranging in age from 18-65, as well as a child under the age of 10. Five individuals were from New Castle County and two were from Kent County.
Virus mutation is common. Preliminary data suggests the UK variant, as well as Brazilian and South African variants, may spread more easily and quickly, which could lead to increased cases. The public health approach and treatments are not any different, but as this new variant may be more contagious, officials said, it is even more important that individuals remain vigilant and continue taking the necessary steps to avoid spreading the virus – wear a mask, wash your hands, avoid gatherings.
DPH update on second doses
Officials are asking for patience as bad weather has affected vaccine supply heading to Delaware. As of Feb. 19, the state has about 19,000 doses left, and 27,000 doses had been delivered by the federal government for pharmacies.
Currently, officials said, the state is focusing on completing a person’s vaccination series.
“With the state’s continued limited vaccine supply, we must continue to strike a balance between offering first and second doses, with the recognition that doing so may slow the rate of offering first doses to eligible Delawareans,” officials said in a press release.
Vaccination providers have an obligation to provide second doses of the vaccine to those who it provided a first dose. Officials said they are asking our vaccinating partners to prioritize completing the vaccination series for individuals who received a first dose from them, and then with their remaining allocation strive to balance first doses to eligible persons and second doses for individuals who received a first dose elsewhere. Ongoing vaccine availability constraints may limit the number of first-dose appointments available, or the availability of appointments for second doses who received a first dose elsewhere
Anyone who received their first dose at Walgreens, Giant, Camden Pharmacy or ChristianaCare, may have received notice recently that your second dose appointment was canceled or postponed. Each of these entities has already begun rescheduling these appointments, officials said, and locations are working through their lists based on the supply they are receiving.
Additional information about COVID-19 vaccine rollout, which includes a list of pharmacies and medical providers accepting public requests for vaccination, is available at de.gov/covidvaccine. Questions can be directed to the Vaccine Call Center at 1-833-643-1715. People who are deaf or hard of hearing should call 2-1-1 or text their ZIP code to 898-211. Individuals can email their questions concerning the vaccine to Vaccine@Delaware.gov.