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This page offers all of Delaware Public Media's ongoing coverage of the COVID-19 outbreak and how it is affecting the First State. Check here regularly for the latest new and information.

COVID hospitalizations hit record high in Delaware

The First State is seeing more troubling COVID-19 numbers.

Hospitalizations are now higher than they’ve ever been in Delaware, reaching 338.

That tops the previous peak of 337 back in April.  41 people are considered critically ill.

And Gov. John Carney says it can’t be ignored.

“We’ve got to do something to reduce the acceleration of the spread that you’re seeing in the numbers," said Carney. "Those hospitalization numbers are as real as real can be.  They are there.  They are present in the hospital.  It is not a hoax. This is real and it is serious.”

Delaware also added another 705 new cases Monday, pushing the state past 41,000 total cases since the pandemic began in March.

Its 7-day daily average for new cases is now 730  - another new high – while the average percentage of positive tests per day is up to 9.8.  That's its high level since late May.

State public health director Dr. Karyl Rattay says they are paying close attention to southern New Castle County and Kent County.

“Where we are most concerned - and where I would consider the hottest spot in Delaware right now -  is below the canal," said Rattay  "We’re definitely seeing some significant increases - highest percent positivity, highest increase in hospitalizations - are in Kent County.”

The biggest increases in per-capita cases last week also happened in this area.   Rattay points out fewer people are getting tested in Kent County and urged people there to get tested. She adds COVID numbers in Sussex County appear to be stabilizing.

Kent County also accounted for 6 of the 10 new COVID-frelated death announced Tuesday.  Those deaths pushed the state’s death toll to 803 since the pandemic began in March.

Rattay also notes quarantine guidelines from the CDC are changing.  Close contacts of a COVID-19 positive person now need to quarantine 10 days instead of 14. Quarantine can be shortened to 7 days with a negative test.

Tom Byrne has been a fixture covering news in Delaware for three decades. He joined Delaware Public Media in 2010 as our first news director and has guided the news team ever since. When he's not covering the news, he can be found reading history or pursuing his love of all things athletic.
Sophia Schmidt is a Delaware native. She comes to Delaware Public Media from NPR’s Weekend Edition in Washington, DC, where she produced arts, politics, science and culture interviews. She previously wrote about education and environment for The Berkshire Eagle in Pittsfield, MA. She graduated from Williams College, where she studied environmental policy and biology, and covered environmental events and local renewable energy for the college paper.