Gov. Carney’s Weekly Coronavirus Update Add the Flu to the Mix

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Delaware’s coronavirus numbers remain high in new positive cases and especially in the 7-day average for percent positive cases – which is currently at 7.2%. Much of the new activity is focused at University of Delaware and Delaware State University and Governor John Carney, in this weeks coronavirus update, says they are working with the schools and the City of Newark – however much of this activity is not on the University of Delaware campus – but off-campus. Carney adds that the young adult population is driving the higher numbers. UD has had 300 positive cases of coronavirus in recent weeks. However Sussex County still has the highest virus rate per the population.

Public health officials are also investigating an uptick at 3 long term care facilities – including the Country Rest Home in Greenwood, where 18 residents and 14 staff members tested positive for coronavirus. The source of these cases is under investigation – as none have started indoor visitation and none are in need of PPE.

Flu season is here. DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay says that with coronavirus still with us, it’s more important than ever to get a flu shot. The flu season increases Delaware’s hospitalizations, use of PPE and other resources – and leaves us maxed out. Dr. Rattay says that if you get either the flu or coronavirus – you may have an increased susceptibility to get the other. The flu shot will lower your risk for more severe illness and could mean the difference between life and death. Flu shots are available – remember it takes two weeks before it is fully effective.

As we move indoors – coronavirus and flu could be a double whammy if you aren’t protected from at least the flu. Dr. Rattay says that while the flu shot won’t prevent coronavirus, it will reduce your chance of getting the flu and flu-related complications, while saving critical health care resources to treat coronavirus patients.

So if you do get sick – is it the flu – or coronavirus – or something else? There are three primary differences between flu and coronavirus – coronavirus symptoms include a change in or loss of taste or smell. Coronavirus may have NO symptoms and flu symptoms generally come on more suddenly.

Governor Carney also commented on the decisions handed down by the US District Court of Pennsylvania and the Delaware Court of Chancery on the Delaware GOP’s lawsuit on mail-in voting. Carney says that it was the right decision. The mail-in option allows Delaware voters to vote safely and securely and that during the primary election “tens of thousands of voters” voted by mail. Vote-by-mail will still be an option during the November General Election. Ballots must be turned in by the close of voting on Election Day. If you don’t have time to mail your ballot in – there is a drop box outside the County Election office on Race Street in Georgetown.