The number of new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations dropped slightly in the last week as the CDC said 78% of those eligible for vaccines have had at least one shot and the state authorized boosters for a wide group of people.
The state has had 130,444 cases of COVID-19 as of Friday morning.
The seven-day average of new positive cases decreased to 464.3 as of Thursday, down from 472 the previous week. Also, 225 people are now hospitalized, down 34 from last week and 36 of them are critically ill, down six from last week.
A total of 1,942 Delawareans have died from COVID-19. In the last week, 29 deaths were reported, 12 of which were from a review of vital statistics.
Because of the strain on hospitals with so many people dealing with COVID-19, the Division of Public Health is asking people not to go to one for a non-emergency COVID-19 test. Instead, it said, pick another site at de.gov/gettested.
On Friday, Public Health said the state’s vaccine providers can begin administering booster doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to some groups.
Based on federal recommendations, these people should get a booster:
- People 65 years and older and residents in long-term care settings
- People aged 50–64 years with underlying medical conditions, which include but are not limited to: cancer, dementia, diabetes, down syndrome, HIV, pregnancy, organ transplants, stroke, overweight and obesity, and chronic heart, lung and kidney diseases,
The CDC recommends these people receive a booster, at least months after their second dose of Pfizer vaccine:
- People aged 18–49 years with underlying medical conditions (the same categories as mentioned above), based on their individual benefits and risk
- People aged 18–64 years who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional setting, including health care workers, teachers and day care staff, grocery workers and those in homeless shelters or prisons, among others.
According to the CDC, a booster shot will help provide continued protection against severe disease, for those over 65, residents of long-term care facilities, and persons 50 – 64 with underlying health conditions. DPH is encouraging individuals in these most at-risk categories to seek booster vaccines first.
As of Friday, Public Health said, 572,973 of Delawareans ages 12 and up have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 519,380 Delawareans are fully vaccinated.
The state has seen 3,359 breakthrough cases of COVID-19, about six-tenths of 1% of vaccinated individuals. Of those, 66 involved hospitalizations and 39 died.
Betsy Price is a Wilmington freelance writer who has 40 years of experience, including 15 at The News Journal in Delaware.
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