Delta Variant now predominant variant strain in Delaware

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DOVER (July 16, 2021) – The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) is providing an update on the most recent statistics related to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Delaware, as of 6 p.m. Thursday, July 15, 2021.

A total of 110,270 positive cases of COVID-19 among Delaware residents have been reported to DPH since March 11, 2020. The seven-day average of new positive cases increased to 39 as of Thursday, July 15.

As of Tuesday, July 13, the seven-day average for the percentage of total tests that were positive was 1.8%, a slight increase from 1.7% as of Tuesday, July 6. There is a two-day lag for presenting data related to percent of tests that are positive to account for the time delay between the date of the test and the date that DPH receives the test result.

In addition, 37 individuals are currently hospitalized due to COVID-19 in Delaware, an increase of six from last week. Four of the hospitalized persons are critically ill, down two from last week.

A total of 1,697 Delawareans have passed away due to complications from COVID-19. Two deaths were reported in the last week; both individuals were not fully vaccinated. The total number of individuals who have died from COVID-19 range in age from younger than 5 to 104 years old. Of those who have died, 849 were female and 848 were male. A total of 847 individuals were from New Castle County, 349 were from Kent County, and 501 were from Sussex County.<

COVID-19 Vaccinations: According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 71.1% of Delawareans ages 18+ have received at least one dose of the vaccine. As of 12:01 a.m. July 16, a total of 1,034,119 administered doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been reported to the state’s immunization information system, DelVAX. Among Delawareans 12+, 516,065 have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and 460,420 Delawareans are fully vaccinated. Delaware’s latest COVID-19 vaccination statistics can be found under the Vaccine Tracker dashboard at de.gov/healthycommunity.

Vaccines are the best protection we have against COVID-19 and circulating variants. For the latest information on the COVID-19 vaccine and the vaccination rollout in Delaware, visit de.gov/covidvaccine.

DPH COVID Vaccine Mobile Units:
DPH in partnership with medical staff from the Delaware National Guard (DNG) have launched mobile units to offer COVID-19 vaccines in underserved communities. Medically trained DNG staff are offering the Pfizer vaccine (for ages 12+) and the J&J vaccine (for persons 18+). These mobile units are visiting communities with low vaccination rates in an effort to eliminate potential barriers to access. The mobile units, which utilize trailers to transport the vaccine and provide vaccinations, are scheduled to visit these communities in New Castle, Kent and Sussex counties next week.

Monday, July 19
West Center City (8th & Washington Streets), Wilmington, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

P.S. DuPont Middle School, Wilmington, 1:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Tuesday, July 20
Country Farms Store, Dover, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Wednesday, July 21
Emmanuel Dining Room East, Wilmington, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Adams Four Shopping Center, Wilmington, 2:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Thursday, July 22
Delmar Middle School, Delmar, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Laurel Middle School, Laurel, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Friday, July 23
AMS Fulfillment, New Castle, 12:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

*dates may be rescheduled if there is inclement weather

For a full list of community-based events statewide including those organized by vaccinating partners and community groups at de.gov/getmyvaccine.

Update on COVID-19 Variant Cases in Delaware
As of Friday, July 16, the Division of Public Health has identified the following COVID-19 variants in Delaware through routine surveillance of test specimens. These variants are based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) list of Variants of Concern and Variants of Interest. This is the second week in a row that Delaware saw the number of Delta variant cases increase by eight.  For the week ending July 16, Delta was the predominant variant strain in Delaware.

The Delaware Public Health Laboratory has sequenced 3,317 specimens for COVID-19 variant strains to date, including 35 within the past week.

Virus mutation is common. Public health approach and treatments are currently not any different, but as these variants may be more contagious, it is even more important that individuals who are not fully vaccinated remain vigilant and continue taking the necessary steps to avoid spreading the virus – wear a mask, wash your hands, avoid gatherings.

The science is clear that the vaccines are extremely safe and effective – and Delawareans who are fully vaccinated have significant protection from COVID-19 infection and serious illness. We would encourage all Delawareans to get vaccinated – de.gov/getmyvaccine.

For more information regarding CDC variant classifications, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/variant-surveillance/variant-info.html.

Breakthrough Cases
Vaccination significantly reduces the chance to developing COVID-19 or becoming seriously ill from it. To date, 460,420 Delawareans have been fully vaccinated. Of those, there have been 456 breakthrough cases of COVID-19, less than one-tenth of 1 percent.

A breakthrough case is defined as testing positive for COVID-19 after an individual has been fully vaccinated for two weeks or more – although it does not mean that the infection actually occurred after vaccination. Twenty-two of the reported breakthrough cases involved hospitalizations, six individuals passed away, although it does not mean COVID was the cause of death. Breakthrough cases are extremely rare, and the science is clear, the best way to prevent serious illness from COVID-19 is to get vaccinated.

Long-term Care Statistics
As of 6:00 p.m. Thursday, July 15, there have been a total of 2,759 positive COVID-19 cases involving long-term care residents, and 760 residents of Delaware long-term care facilities have died from complications related to COVID-19.

Symptoms and Testing
It’s especially important for unvaccinated persons, to be aware of, and self-monitor for, the symptoms of COVID-19.  Even fully vaccinated persons should get tested if they develop symptoms.

If you are sick with any of the following symptoms, 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, or headache or 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.
Information about testing events, including community testing sites, permanent fixed testing sites, and free-standing sites operated by the health care systems and hospitals, are listed on the testing section of the Delaware coronavirus website at de.gov/gettested

DPH reminds Delawareans that if you believe you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, or have symptoms of illness, make sure to distance yourself 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 – may have a higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

Individuals with general questions about COVID-19 should call Delaware 2-1-1, individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing can text their ZIP code to 898-211, or email delaware211@uwde.org. Hours of operation are:

Monday – Friday: 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Saturday: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Medically related questions regarding testing, symptoms, and health-related guidance can be submitted by email at DPHCall@delaware.gov.

Delawareans 18 or older are encouraged to download COVID Alert DE, Delaware’s free exposure notification app to help protect your neighbors while ensuring your privacy. Download on the App Store or Google Play

Questions related to business re-openings or operations as businesses re-open should go to COVID19FAQ@delaware.gov. Questions regarding unemployment claims should be emailed to: UIClaims@delaware.gov.

DPH will continue to update the public as more information becomes available. For the latest on Delaware’s response, go to de.gov/coronavirus.