Just hours after Governor Carney announced that beaches and swimming pools will reopen in time for the Memorial Day holiday, state health officials delivered a stark reminder of the human toll the COVID-19 has claimed in Delaware.
The Delaware Division of Public Health announced 13 additional fatalities related to coronavirus disease – the deadliest day since health officials began tracking the disease on March 11.
In total, 260 Delawareans have passed away due to complications from COVID-19. The most recent deaths announced today ranged in age from 21 to 94. Nine of the 13 individuals had underlying health conditions, and nine were residents of long-term care facilities.
Last week Governor Carney extended his State of Emergency by two weeks — pushing the first phase of the state’s reopening to June 1. But last week Governor Carney announced that salons and retailers could open under very limited guidelines. And today he stepped announced that beaches would open on May 22 starting at 5 pm.
DPH also announced the largest number of individuals tested so far in a single day – 2,104 – and 271 new cases of the novel coronavirus. This represents the second highest number of daily positive cases since state health officials began tracking the virus on March 11.
On April 26th state health officials reported 456 new cases of COVID-19 and attributed the significant reporting to increased community testing in Sussex and a larger than usual number of results returned by one of the commercial labs.
The state and community partners have tested 36,857 Delawareans, of which 80% – or 26,634 – have been negative.
Total positive cases: 7,223
Total deaths: 260
Delawareans recovered: 3080
Total tested: 36,857
“I fear that ice cream and tans will come at a terrible price,” one TSD reader wrote to us in an email.
State health officials last week announced significant expansion of testing – for symptomatic and asymptomatic people. DPH purchased 200,000 saliva-based tests from Curative, a Los Angeles-based testing company, which will allow Delaware to expand testing to 80,000 people monthly – nearly five times the current level of testing statewide. Their focus will be the in Sussex County, where health officials continue to see large numbers of positive cases.