Coronavirus Updates: Models Show Possible DE Peaks, Priest Cuts His Pay, UD Postpones Graduation

UD Professor says one model shows virus could peak in mid-April – .Dr. Jennifer Horney, a founding director of the epidemiology program at the University of Delaware, says varying models predict the peak of the coronavirus in Delaware could come anytime from April 11 to May 10. 

When that happens, the need for hospital beds will exceed capacity, according to projections from leading researchers.

“All the models say something different and are based on different assumptions,” Horney told us, referring to the University of Washington, Harvard and University of Pennsylvania models. 

“The Washington University model is the most optimistic model,” said Dr. Horney. According to UD’s leading epidemiologist, the optimism is based in large part on assumptions about social distancing, using data from Wuhan, China, “where we know that quarantines were highly effective,” she said.

 

In effect, the Washington model assumes 100% compliance with social distancing measures in Delaware.

The University of Washington model shows April 11 as the day Delaware would need the most hospital resources. On that day the model says 777 hospital beds might be required, while the state has only 696 beds.

And the model shows that Delaware could need three times the number of ICU beds that are currently available.

Horney cautioned that it is still early to rely on any one model. “We just have to be patient and wait until we have a little more data,” she said, referring to testing and continued social isolation.

Ugh: Delaware has 19,000 unemployment claims – The massive number (18,987) is substantially more than last week’s filing of 10,776 and helped fuel the more than 6 million total claims nationally

 

Delaware now has 393 confirmed cases of coronavirus, 12 deaths and 56 hospitalizations.  Cases include two more Wilmington police officers, Mayor Mike Purzycki and Police Chief Robert J. Tracy announced today.

Three officers total have been confirmed with the virus, and eight officers are either self-isolating or self-monitoring.

Parish Priest cuts his salary – Rev. James T. Kirk, Jr., pastor of St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church in Brandywine Hundred, recorded a video message saying he was cutting his own pay in the face of a challenging financial picture for the parish. The gesture comes at a time when weekly collections have all but evaporated for all local churches and houses of worship, while many church-affiliated organizations are being asked to do even more to help those in need. 

Father Kirk is giving himself a 20 percent pay cut to help with parish finances

St. Anthony’s  Festival, Blue-Gold Game and Flower Market Canceled – More major spring and summer events have been canceled in the expectation that May and June dates will be too early to host large annual gatherings. 

UD graduation is postponed – the school will postpone its 2020 Commencement, originally scheduled on Saturday, May 30, in Delaware Stadium. But UD President Dennis Assanis said this is not a cancellation.

He said the school was “committed to giving the amazing Class of 2020 a wonderful send-off in true Blue Hen style.” UD officials say they are “weighing the multiple factors in staging an event as complex as Commencement to determine the best course ahead.”

State launches online donation tool – Governor John Carney issued a community call-to-action on Thursday, urging all Delaware citizens, businesses and nonprofits to offer their assistance in Delaware’s fight against coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The State of Delaware launched an online tool at de.gov/coronavirus to connect Delawareans offering materials and supplies with organizations, medical providers and others in need of assistance.

Click here if you are a citizen, business or nonprofit with materials and supplies to support Delaware’s response. Click here if you represent a nursing home, emergency child care site, grocery store, pharmacy, or other designated emergency retailer and need of supplies.  Items the state is seeking include hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes, nitrile gloves, Tyvek suits and N95 masks.

West Side group raises funds for small businesses – Community development group West Side Grows has established the COVID-19 Emergency Business Relief Fund for micro-grants to aid businesses impacted by the shutdown. The group has already raised $3,200, including a match from Capital One.

The grants will range from $500-$1,000 with oversight from a review committee.  A weekly webinar is being hosted for small businesses to navigate the process of applying for funds. Click here to learn more

 

Local businesses continue to help health care workersKelly Jones, of The Cleaning Girl, Inc., is one example of a small business stepping up to support COVID-19 response efforts. 

Jones’ company is delivering 250 antibacterial microfiber cleaning cloths to healthcare professionals at the Helen Graham Center of Christiana Care on Friday.

Additionally, the company will be offering one free house cleaning per month for the next 3 months to any healthcare professional through an in-house referral campaign.

No public bathrooms at state parks – While most state parks, nature and wildlife areas continue to stay open for Delawareans during the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” emergency order from Governor John Carney, many amenities are closed.

Current closures include campsites, cabins, cottages, yurts and playgrounds, and now, public restrooms will be closed. “We made the decision to close restrooms, which have multiple public touchpoints,” Secretary Shawn Garvin said.

 

 


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5 Comments

  • “All the models say something different and are based on different assumptions,” Horney told us, referring to the University of Washington, Harvard and University of Pennsylvania models. “

    What is the value of such an interview? When they basically are saying they have no idea what is going to happen?

    Why are we giving such weight over major long term decisions about society, the economy both in Delaware and nationally to academics that clearly have no idea what is going to happen?

  • I agree with Jay (above). This reporting as it relates to the virus peak is based on multiple models and has no definitive and original predictions. Just reminds me that UD doesn’t have anyone with any original thought or research.

  • Will Delawareans hold any of the Delaware legislature accountability for their handling of this?

  • People claim down let’s just play it safe and tike will tell. I’m a nurse in the ER at the big house. I need for you all to be patience and smart so that we can get back to some kind of normalcy