During this week’s coronavirus update Governor John Carney said now that the vaccine has started to arrive in Delaware we are now fighting the virus on several fronts. Delaware received 975 doses of the vaccine on Monday and they are being given to some phase 1 recipients. The rest of the 8775 doses will begin arriving at the DPH warehouse on Wednesday – and will be divided out to other phase 1 recipients.
In the meantime – with the colder weather and the holidays approaching Delaware is in a perfect storm to see a surge in community spread as people will be again going home for the holidays – adding to the surge that started at Thanksgiving. Delaware’s numbers are still climbing – with 376 people hospitalized with the virus – and 62 of them in critical condition. Sussex County still has the fewest people hospitalized with 73. Public Health officials report there were 10 deaths Monday – 2 each in Kent and Sussex Counties and 6 in New Castle. All were in the 60s to 90s age range with underlying health conditions. Three were in long-term care facilities. There were 690 new positive cases of coronavirus Monday – 128 of them in Sussex County.
DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay says that looking at areas of concern – nearly the entire state is in blue – seeing 500 cases per 100,000 people – and several areas – including Frederica and Frankford at 900 cases per 100,000. She says that shows significant spread of coronavirus throughout the state.
Along with the vaccine – another tool in the fight against coronavirus is being used – monoclonal antibodies which have been in Delaware for a few weeks. These are man made and created specifically to neutralize coronavirus. It’s given in an IV infusion and is most effective when given to someone within 72 hours of virus symptom development. This treatment is for patients at high-risk for the virus – especially those who are 65 and older – and show mild to moderate symptoms. It does require a physicians referral.