While the numbers may have moderated from the highest amount of new positive coronavirus cases (649) – the numbers still continue to rise and are a cause for concern now that people are moving inside where social distancing is more difficult, college students are returning home for the holidays and possibly bring the virus with them. During this week’s coronavirus update, DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay said the entire state has seen an increase in case rates – but in lower Delaware the areas of concern continue to be Bridgeville, Laurel and Delmar – as well as Milford, Lincoln and Ellendale. According the DPH there were 438 new positive coronavirus cases Monday – nearly 300 in New Castle County – 78 in Sussex and 61 in Kent County. 185 people are hospitalized with the virus – 28 of them are critical. 51 of those hospitalized are in Sussex County. In the past 2 days – 9 people have died from coronavirus – 5 in New Castle County and 2 each in Kent and Sussex. Over 16,000 people have recovered from coronavirus – and over 373, 500 have received negative test results. You’ll find all the numbers at the DPH Facebook page.
Coronavirus testing will change a bit in the coming days. Beginning Friday – people wanting to be tested at the Walgreens Pharmacies will need to make an appointment. This is an effort to eliminate the traffic issues near some of the testing sites. Beginning Monday – five new Walgreens sites will begin testing – including three in Sussex County – in Delmar, Bethany Beach and Georgetown. Last week over 47,000 tests for coronavirus were completed with demand increasing ahead of Thanksgiving. Because demand has increased dramatically – officials urge you to try to test at off-peak times, make an appointment if possible as there may be situations where walk-ins will be turned away. Expect wait times to increase. Plan ahead and be patient.
The increase in demand for testing may also increase the test result turn-around time – and higher numbers of positive coronavirus cases may slow the contact tracing team. Dr. Rattay said during the update that additional contact tracers have been hired.