DPH UPDATE (6/23/20): 27 Additional Positive Cases; 95 Additional Recovered; Identifies Additional Coronavirus Deaths Through Vital Records Review

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The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) is announcing 27 additional positive cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Delaware as well as two additional COVID-19-related fatalities involving Delaware residents, as of 6:00 p.m. Monday, June 22, 2020.

In addition, DPH is also announcing that after completing a review of death certificate records from the Delaware Vital Events Registration System (DelVERS) and comparing that information to epidemiological surveillance data, DPH epidemiologists have identified 67 additional COVID-19 deaths dating back to April 2020 that were not previously reported to DPH through standard reporting procedures, but should be classified as confirmed or probable deaths, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) case definition.

To ensure the highest quality of data, the epidemiology team at the Division of Public Health shared its COVID-19 death data with DPH’s Bureau of Health and Vital Statistics. The bureau’s staff performed a review of the death certifications in the Delaware Vital Events Registration System that list either COVID-19, or SARS CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) as a cause of death or a significant condition contributing to death. The purpose of this review was to ensure that DPH is accurately capturing the total number of COVID-19 related deaths based on both epidemiology surveillance and death certificate data.

This death data comparison identified the following:

  • 32 individuals who were already identified as a confirmed COVID-19 case in the epidemiological surveillance system, but for which DPH did not receive a subsequent report of the person’s death;
  • 26 individuals who did not have a record of a lab result for COVID-19 in the surveillance system;
  • 9 individuals who had previously tested negative for COVID-19, but for which the deceased person’s death certificate subsequently listed COVID-19 or SARS CoV-2 as a cause of, or a significant condition contributing to, death.

DPH was also able to determine that approximately 75 percent of the decedents died at a long-term care facility, according to the death records. DPH is working to communicate the reporting requirements with long-term care facilities and hospitals in the state to ensure full accuracy and transparency.

Of the 67 deaths added to the state’s total death count, 32 are classified as confirmed due to there being a positive lab result of COVID-19 in DPH’s surveillance system, and 35 deaths are classified as probable, as, per the CDC case definition, the death certificate indicated COVID-19 or SARS CoV-2 as a cause or contributing factor to death.

In the future, DPH will conduct periodic reviews of its Vital Records data to identify additional COVID-19 deaths, which could lead to ongoing increases in the state’s total number of COVID-19 deaths.

With the 67 additional COVID-19 related deaths added to the state’s statistics, 504 Delawareans have passed away due to complications from COVID-19. Individuals who have died from COVID-19 ranged in age from 21 to 104 years old. Of those who have died, 267 were females and 237 were males. A total of 239 individuals were from New Castle County, 89 were from Kent County, and 176 were from Sussex County.

The two most recent deaths announced today ranged in age from 72 to 85. One individual was female and one was male. One was a New Castle County resident and one was a Sussex County resident. One individual had known underlying health conditions. One individual was a resident of a long-term care facility.

To protect personal health information, DPH will not confirm specific information about any individual case, even if other persons or entities disclose it independently.

The latest Delaware COVID-19 case statistics* cumulatively since March 11, provided as of 6 p.m., Monday, June 22, include:

• 10,847 total positive cases

• New Castle County cases: 4,697

• Kent County cases: 1,624

• Sussex County cases: 4,509

• Unknown County: 17

• Females: 6,006; Males: 4,824; Unknown:17

• Age range: 0 to 104

• Currently hospitalized: 91; Critically ill:15 (This data represents individuals currently hospitalized in a Delaware hospital regardless of residence, and is not  cumulative.)

• Delawareans recovered: 6,554

• 86,689 negative cases**

*Data are provisional and subject to change.

**Data on negative cases are preliminary, based on negative results reported to DPH by state and commercial laboratories performing analysis.

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.

Additional demographic data on COVID-19 cases and deaths, including race/ethnicity, more age-specific data and rates information by ZIP code, can be found on the Division of Public Health’s My Healthy Community data portal.

Information about testing events, including community testing sites and free-standing sites operated by the health care systems and hospitals, will be listed on the testing section of the Delaware coronavirus website at: https://coronavirus.delaware.gov/testing/.  Please note for saliva-based testing events that while long-term care facilities are listed on the Curative registration site, they are not community-based testing sites. The long-term care facility registrations are not open to the public nor to family members of long-term care residents.

If you are sick with any of the following symptoms, stay home: fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, muscle aches, fatigue, chills, shaking with chills, loss of smell or taste. Other symptoms such as headache or digestive symptoms (vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain or lack of appetite) have been identified as potential symptoms related to COVID-19 and may prompt further screening, action or investigation. 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 believe 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 immuno-compromised, including through cancer treatment – may have a higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

Individuals who have complaints about individuals violating public gathering restrictions should contact state or local law enforcement. Concerns that a business may be violating operating restrictions should be directed to: COVID.DOJ@delaware.gov. Questions related to business re-openings or operations as businesses reopen should go to COVID19FAQ@delaware.gov.

Individuals with 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 info@delaware211.org. Hours of operation are 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Medically related questions regarding testing, symptoms, and health-related guidance can be submitted by email at DPHCall@delaware.gov.  Questions regarding unemployment claims should be emailed to: UIClaims@delaware.gov.      

In addition, the Division of Public Health asks any Delaware health care, long-term care, residential, or other high-risk 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.

DPH will continue to update the public as more information becomes available. For the latest on Delaware’s response, go to de.gov/coronavirus.