The managing editor of TownSquareDelaware.com, Christy Fleming also supports a variety of non-profit initiatives in Delaware. Her background includes positions in public relations, advertising and journalism.
A woman on the Delaware staff of Senator Tom Carper has tested positive for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the senator’s office announced. A Carper spokesperson confirmed this case is the same individual – a New Castle County woman under the age of 30 – that Delaware public health officials confirmed yesterday as the state’s seventh case of the virus.
The Division of Public Health and UD officials said this case was not related to the six other confirmed coronavirus cases all tied to the University of Delaware. Carper’s office said the staffer has not had contact with the senator since exhibiting symptoms.
Carper’s office said, “It has been confirmed that a member of Senator Carper’s Delaware-based staff has tested positive for COVID-19. The individual is self-quarantining and is not severely ill. This individual has not traveled to Washington, D.C. recently and has had no contact with Senator Carper or other members of Congress since exhibiting symptoms.”
“On the advice of Delaware public health experts at the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS), other members of Senator Carper’s staff who came in contact with the individual while the individual was exhibiting symptoms will be self-isolating at home for the next 14 days and monitoring their symptoms closely. If any of those staff members start showing symptoms of COVID-19, they will be tested as well.”
In response to the spread of coronavirus and following the advice of our nation’s public health experts and medical professionals, Senator Carper’s staff – both in Washington, D.C. and Delaware – will be working remotely starting on Monday, March 16th. As a result, those offices will also be closed to the public during that time.
Carper’s office said staff would still be available to provide assistance by phone or by email.
The latest victim of the deadly virus was tested by the DPH. And while her test results were “presumptive positive,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is no longer requiring presumptive positive results to go through CDC for confirmatory testing. Therefore all presumptive positives are considered confirmed.
The first six cases of coronavirus-19 in Delaware are all related to a conference or meeting that five of them attended out of town earlier this month. One is the spouse of one of the attendees.
“Because of the nature of this disease, we know that we are going to continue to see an increased number of cases in Delaware,” said Dr. Karyl Rattay, director of the Division of Public Health. “The numbers of patients being tested have increased significantly. We want to make sure that we are giving the most accurate information to the public. So going forward we will only be releasing the number of positive cases in Delaware,” she said.
Additional measures were taken at the University of Delaware this evening to mitigate the spread of the virus and help students plan for remote learning.
1. UD will extend Spring Break for an additional week, so it will now last two weeks: March 14-29. This will provide the school additional time to complete the online course conversion process.
2. Move-out period for students to remove belongings from all residence halls will be extended to the end of the semester. The school is asking students to not return until the University determines it is safe to do so.
3. Access to research will be provided only for the most critical needs (e.g. maintaining animals, critical cell cultures, unique reagents, essential equipment and materials) for the next two weeks and potentially longer.
4. Only those UD employees performing essential functions that cannot be carried out remotely will report to campus. This protocol will remain in place through Friday, March 27.
5. All University-sponsored or affiliated travel, including domestic travel, is temporarily suspended until further notice. The University is also discouraging personal travel to reduce risks for exposure in other locations that may have presented higher risk.
6. All buildings will be secured and additional environmental measures will take place over the next two weeks.