DHSS announces three deaths from coronavirus at 24/7 facilities

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The Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) is announcing three more deaths from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) involving residents or patients at its 24/7 facilities.

A 72-year-old female resident from Delaware Hospital for the Chronically Ill in Smyrna died April 17 at a Kent County hospital and an 81-year-old female resident from the same facility died April 18 at a Kent County hospital. In addition, an 82-year-old female patient at Delaware Psychiatric Center near New Castle died April 18 at a New Castle County hospital.

They are the second, third and fourth residents or patients from DHSS’ 24/7 facilities to die from COVID-19. A 57-year-old male resident from Governor Bacon Health Center in Delaware City died April 14 at a New Castle County hospital.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the residents from Delaware Hospital for the Chronically Ill and the patient from Delaware Psychiatric Center who passed away,” said DHSS Secretary Dr. Kara Odom Walker, a practicing family physician. “Across our state, we see the heartbreaking toll the coronavirus is taking on the residents of our long-term care facilities and their families. Our Division of Public Health and the Division of Health Care Quality are working closely with the facilities to help care for those who are sick, and to protect the health and safety of all other residents and staff.”

DHSS’ Division of Health Care Quality (DHCQ) is working with DHSS’ 24/7 facilities and private long-term care and other licensed facilities in the state to verify that there are strong screening, infection control and isolation measure in place at each facility, and if, not, to assist them in implementing stronger protocols.