Ten healthcare workers have been tested with Delaware’s recent shipment of rapid COVID-19 tests as the total number of COVID-19 cases in the state rose to 673 on April 5.
The results of the first 10 tests were negative, and the Division of Public Health advised those who were tested they could return to their life-saving jobs, while continuing to follow precautionary measures, such as continued self-monitoring for symptoms and wearing a mask, said Andrea Wojcik, spokeswoman for DPH. These individuals had all come into contact with a person confirmed to have COVID-19, but were asymptomatic, she said.
On April 4, the DPH lab received a shipment of 5,000 rapid test kits from Pinnacle BioLabs, a Nashville-based company, which will provide results in 5-15 minutes by using blood drawn by a finger stick instead of collecting a nasal swab to obtain a result, Wojcik said. The rapid tests will be used primarily to test healthcare workers, first responders, and residents of long-term care facilities where outbreaks are suspected, she said.
No new fatalities were announced April 5 but there were 80 more people who tested positive for COVID-19, including six new hospitalizations, Wojcik said.
On April 4, public health announced 143 new positive cases with 32 new hospitalizations. There were no new reported fatalities, officials said. In total, 14 Delawareans have passed away due to complications from COVID-19. There has been a total of eight deaths related to long-term care facilities, including seven in New Castle County - six at Little Sisters of the Poor - and one in Sussex County reported by Brandywine Living at Seaside Point.
COVID-19 cases by county are: 436 in New Castle, 86 in Kent, and 151 in Sussex. There are 308 males and 365 females ranging in age from 1 to 97. There are currently 101 people hospitalized and 25 are critically ill. So far, Wojcik said, 71 Delawareans have recovered, and there have been 6,321 negative cases tested.
Delaware is considering patients fully recovered seven days after the resolution of their symptoms. Three days after symptoms resolve, patients are no longer required to self-isolate at home; however, they must continue to practice strict social distancing for the remaining four days before returning to their normal daily routine.
Starting Monday, the DPH was to begin a new collaboration with the United Way of Delaware to increase call center services and divide phone calls as follows:
- All social service, essential business, unemployment or stay at home-related calls – including inquiries about food assistance, housing or utility assistance, etc. – should now go to Delaware 2-1-1, 1-800-560-3372, or text your ZIP code to 898-211. Delaware 2-1-1 has increased its hours, added operators, and now is available seven days a week.
- All medical and testing calls should continue to come to DPH's Call Center at 1-866-408-1899 or 711 for people with a hearing impairment. The call center hours are 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
In addition, the Division of Public Health asks any Delaware long-term care facility with questions or concerns to email: DPH_PAC@delaware.gov or call the DPH Call Center at 1-866-408-1899 and press ext. 2.
Widespread community transmission is occurring throughout the state, which means COVID-19 is actively circulating in the community. If you are sick with any of the following symptoms, stay home: fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, muscle fatigue, or digestive symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain or lack of appetite. If you are sick and need essential supplies, ask someone else to go to the grocery store or the pharmacy to get what you need.
If you think you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, or have symptoms of illness, make sure to distance yourself from others, particularly vulnerable populations. Older adults and people of any age with serious underlying medical conditions - including serious heart conditions, chronic lung conditions, including moderate to severe asthma, severe obesity and those who are immunocompromised, including through cancer treatment - might be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
Statewide testing at standing health facility testing sites requires a physician’s order or prescription to be tested (Bayhealth patients will be pre-screened via phone without needing to see a provider first). These are not walk-in testing sites. Those without a primary care provider can call the DPH Call Center Line at 1-866-408-1899. Individuals awaiting test results should wait to hear back from their medical provider. The DPH Call Center does not have test results.
Delawareans with medical- or testing-related questions about COVID-19 or their exposure risk can call the Division of Public Health’s Coronavirus Call Center at 1-866-408-1899, or 711 for individuals who are hearing-impaired, from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Questions can also be submitted by email at DPHCall@delaware.gov.
DPH will continue to update the public as more information becomes available. For the latest on Delaware’s response, go to de.gov/coronavirus.