Concerns mount over growing covid-19 outbreak in long term facilities

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The Division of Public Health is currently investigating COVID-19 outbreaks in several long-term care facilities throughout the state

DOVER (DE): A new report maintained by Johns Hopkins University suggests that over 1 million people have died of the Coronavirus (covid-19) disease worldwide, and over 33 million have tested positive for the disease since it’s first outbreak was reported in China.

Earlier last week, we began seeing new reports suggesting that new daily positive cases have been increasing over the past couple of months in some key states. This has caused some worry among health departments across the country as we move into the flu season.

Delaware has also seen some increases in positive cases. In Delaware, The Division of Public Health is currently investigating COVID-19 outbreaks in several long-term care facilities throughout the state. Facilities where significant ongoing outbreaks are occurring include:

Kentmere Rehabilitation and Health Care Center in Wilmington where 28 residents and 24 staff members have tested positive for the disease,

Cadia Healthcare Silverside in Wilmington where 19 residents and less than 10 staff members have tested positive for the disease, and

Country Rest Home in Greenwood where 18 residents and 14 staff members have tested positive for the disease.

While the source of exposure in these outbreaks is still under investigation, the Division of public health do not believe that visitation activities are a contributing factor with the affected facilities. DPH also says that the availability of personal protective equipment (PPE) also does not appear to be a driving factor in these outbreaks.

According to a news release, “the State routinely monitors PPE levels in these facilities, and no facility has recently requested a need for additional support.”

The release also states that the “DHSS Division of Public Health and Division of Health Care Quality (DHCQ) are actively working with impacted facilities to ensure infection control measures are in place.”

One of the biggest concerns among parents were in-person schooling and DPH has also  reported that 44 children and staff members have tested positive for the disease since in-person schooling began. The affcted grades are Childcare: 16 students and staff members, Private K-12: 15 students and staff members, and Public K-12: 13 students and staff members.

About CasesAbout HospitalizationsAbout Deaths

A total of 20,085 positive cases of COVID-19 have been reported to the Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) since March 11, 2020 with 10,517 of those making a full recovery.

The seven-day average for the percentage of persons who tested positive for COVID-19 decreased from 7.2% as of Sept. 17, to 6.7% as of Thursday, Sept. 24.

The number of new daily cases each day this week has remained elevated, and DPH continues to monitor for any specific hotspots where increased virus transmission may be occurring throughout the state.

In addition, 53 individuals are currently hospitalized due to COVID-19 in Delaware, down five from 58 reported as of last Friday’s update. Eleven of the hospitalized persons are critically ill, up one from last week.
A total of 631 Delawareans have passed away due to complications from COVID-19. The state reported 11 additional deaths since last week’s update, six of which occurred from April to August and were added to the total after a regular review of death certificate data. The total number of individuals who have died from COVID-19 ranges in age from 21 to 104 years old. Of those who have died, 327 were female and 304 were male. A total of 310 individuals were from New Castle County, 116 were from Kent County, and 205 were from Sussex County.

MORE STATE GUIDANCE
Additional demographic data on COVID-19 cases and deaths, including race/ethnicity, more age-specific data and rates information by ZIP code, and information on Delaware’s contact tracing efforts can be found on the Division of Public Health’s My Healthy Community data portal at de.gov/healthycommunity.

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.

If you are sick and need essential supplies, ask someone else to go to the grocery store or the pharmacy to get what you need.

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. Information about testing events, including community testing sites, permanent fixed testing sites, and free-standing sites operated by the health care systems and hospitals, will be listed on the testing section of the Delaware coronavirus website at: coronavirus.delaware.gov/testing/.

Individuals who have 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 re-open should go to COVID19FAQ@delaware.gov.

Individuals with 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 info@delaware211.org. 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.

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 email: DPH_PAC@delaware.gov or call the DPH Call Center at 1-866-408-1899 and press ext. 2.

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Delaware Newsline is a digital Delaware News Organization that provides local and national breaking news content to its Delaware and U.S. audience, by utilizing multiple platforms including web, social media, and video.

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