While health officials fight the covid-19 epidemic and try to educate the public about how serious this pandemic is, police are facing an epidemic of their own.
NEW CASTLE (DE): With Delaware Health officials reporting another big jump in COVID-19 cases in Delaware where it’s at an all time high, drug overdoses has also spiked in the past couple of days.
Data from the Division of Health on Friday suggests COVID-19 positive cases went from 10% to almost 13% in just a seven day period, mounting concerns about social gatherings including outings.
“What we can see in our data is that social gatherings, whether at a house party, casual dinner, or restaurant, where people take off their masks while they eat, drink and chat, are the primary situations in which COVID-19 is being spread,” said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. “It is just not safe right now to socially eat, drink, casually hang out or party with people outside of our household unless we are socially distanced and outside.”
As a result of the mounting concerns, health officials are now recommending Delawareans to only dine socially (at home and in restaurants) with those who live with you, Don’t spend time socially with people outside your household, and don’t plan on holding holiday dinners with those outside your household – even family, to prevent further spread of infection in the community.
As health officials work to contain the spread, and treat more than 130 people in hospitals around Delaware, New Castle County Police are facing an epidemic of their own. Police spokesman Lopez Garcia explains they are concerned after several officers have responded to an “unusually high number of incidents” involving drug overdoses in the past couple of days.
Garcia says that with each incident there was evidence of heroin use or was recovered.
“These recent overdose cases have left 1 individual deceased and while the cause of death for this individual is pending results from the Delaware Division of Forensic Science, it is believed that heroin was a factor.,” Garcia said.
Garcia added, “overdose is a dangerous and deadly consequence of substance abuse. A large dose of heroin depresses the user’s heart rate and breathing to such an extent that a user cannot survive without medical intervention.”
Police want to help you and reminds the public that if you or someone you know has an opioid or any other substance abuse addiction, please contact us for help.
Individuals can apply to our Hero Help Program, which can provide immediate access to treatment and services to assist on the road to recovery, even for those without insurance. Citizens can call (302)395-8050 or come to the Corporal Paul J. Sweeney Public Safety Building at 3601 N. DuPont Highway New Castle, Del. 19720 to request further information and inquire about eligibility.
It’s unknown if the drug overdoses are related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
[su_box title=”Publisher’s Note”]Delaware Newsline reached out to New Castle County Police and New Castle County Paramedics for more information and on-camera interviews but as of the publishing of this story both agencies have not responded to our requests.[/su_box]