DPH: Post-holiday Surge of Covid-19 Less that 2022


The expected increase in post-holiday Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations has been taking place in the past two weeks – however Delaware Public Health officials say the increase in not as high as the 2022 post-holiday surge. DPH officials urge caution – stay home if you’re sick, test when symptoms appear or if exposed to someone with Covid-19 and stay up to date with vaccinations and boosters. Also consider wearing a mask in crowded spaces.

Additional information from the DPH release: This time last year, Delaware reported the highest number of new positive daily cases since the start of the pandemic at 3,666 reported on Jan. 6, 2022, and 759 hospitalizations on Jan. 12, 2022. As of the latest data posted to the My Healthy Community dashboard Wednesday, there were 266 new cases on Jan. 6, 2023, and 202 hospitalizations for Jan. 10, 2023. While the reduced number of cases reported does not take into account the large number of likely positive results from at-home testing, which are not reported to DPH, the fact that hospitalizations remain so much lower is a good indicator that there is not as much serious illness being caused by COVID-19 infection. Even with new emerging variants, the tools available to successfully fight COVID-19 have become increasingly effective.   

Viruses constantly mutate and evolve, and sometimes these mutations result in new variants of the virus. The updated bivalent booster provides the best level of protection against serious illness and hospitalization as it strengthens the antibody response against two strains of COVID-19:  the original strain of the virus and the Omicron variants. Health experts say if has been eight (8) months or more since your last vaccine, your protection is limited.  If you are 5+ and it has been at least two months or more since you completed your primary series, haven’t had a recent infection since July, or haven’t been boosted since August, you are eligible for an updated booster. Learn more about where to get a booster at de.gov/boosters.   

Treatment also remains one of the most effective tools for preventing severe outcomes from COVID-19. If an individual tests positive, especially if they are more likely to get very sick from the virus due to a health condition, treatments are available that reduce the risk of being hospitalized or dying from the disease. Those who test positive should contact a healthcare provider right away to determine if treatment is appropriate. Most treatments must be started within five days of when symptoms first appear, and the sooner treatment is started, the sooner it begins working to fight the virus.   

Individuals should ask about treatment if they test positive for COVID-19 and are either: 

  • 50 years or older (especially over 65, as risk increases with age) 
  • Unvaccinated 
  • Listed as having certain medical conditions – such as chronic lung disease, heart disease, diabetes, a weakened immune system, and more. 

More information, including test-to-treat sites and locations where treatment is available with a prescription, can be found at https://coronavirus.delaware.gov/covid-19-treatment-options/

Resources:     

Individuals with general questions about COVID-19 should call Delaware 2-1-1, individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing can text their ZIP code to 898-211, or email delaware211@uwde.org. Hours of operation are:     

  • Monday – Friday: 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.     
  • Saturday: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.     

Medically related questions regarding testing, symptoms, and health-related guidance can 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.