Week 33: Testing ramps up in time for holiday

Updated state of-emergency restictions went into effect Nov. 23
November 23, 2020

As more people test positive for COVID-19 in Delaware, testing has ramped up throughout the state as more permanent sites are added with pop-up sites scheduled nearly every weekday in Sussex County. On Nov. 19, more than 2,110 tests were given in Sussex County, which is nearly double the average of 1,200 tests per day.

Positive COVID-19 cases reached an all-time high in Delaware of 649 on Nov. 19. Sussex County's total of 147 new cases that day was also well above average.

The statewide seven-day average that week was 279, which was above average.


Vaccine expected to arrive next month

The first batch of COVID-19 vaccine is expected to arrive in Delaware in early to mid-December, according to Karyl Rattay, director of Delaware Division of Public Health.

She said a priority list has been established and front-line healthcare workers and paramedics dealing directly with COVID-19 patients or possible patients will be among the first to receive vaccines. She said vaccines for the general population should be available in March.


New restrictions in place

The first day of updated state-of-emergency restrictions started Nov. 23:

• Indoor family and friends gatherings limited to no more than 10 people.

• Indoor gatherings outside of homes must be limited to 30 percent of the venue's fire capacity with a cap up to 50 people. Events include weddings, church services, funerals, performances, political gatherings and events in public spaces including fire halls.

• Outdoor public gatherings are limited to 50 people. Up to 250 people may be allowed with a plan submitted to and approved by the Division of Health.

• Restaurants must restrict occupancy to no more than 30 percent of fire capacity indoors, with allowances for outdoor seating. Masks must be worn by all patrons when sitting at tables until food is served. Masks must be worn also when servers approach tables.

• Masks must be worn at all times at fitness centers.

• Youth sports teams and venues are prohibited from hosting or participating in out-of-state tournaments, starting at 8 a.m., Tuesday, Dec. 1. Delaware teams cannot travel across state lines for tournaments.


Walgreens limiting number of tests

Due to long lines at Walgreens testing sites, starting Friday, Nov. 27, tests will be limited to 45 per day by registration only. In Sussex County, Walgreens in Bethany Beach, Delmar and Georgetown will offer tests starting Tuesday, Dec. 1. The Rehoboth Beach Walgreens offers tests in the Cape Region.


A change in Black Friday

Black Friday shopping is like no other this year. Many stores have had Black Friday sales throughout November. In addition, many stores, including Walmart, Target, Best Buy and Tanger Outlets, will be closed Thanksgiving Day.


Sussex County data

257 deaths – 205 in the 65-plus age group and 36 in the 50 to 64 age group (752 deaths in Delaware; 428 in long-term care facilities)

91,000 people tested; 9,876 positive cases

Most new positive cases in 18 to 34 age group followed by 35-49 age group

19 average hospitalizations Nov. 7 to Nov. 20; Nov. 18 to Nov. 20, 50 hospitalizations per day; average of nearly 60 hospitalizations per day Nov. 2 to Nov. 4

Hospitalization trend – From 98 on June 1 downward to 3 on Sept. 8 and rising to 60 on Nov. 1 and 51 on Nov. 23


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