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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 climb to 400 in Delaware

COVID-related hospitalizations reach another new high in Delaware.

State health officials report hospitalizations statewide rose to a record 400 Tuesday, with 54 people considered critically.

Earlier this month, Gov John Carney said the state’s capacity is between 400 and 500.

The state’s coronavirus data dashboard still has the state in the “green” zone for capacity, operating at less than 98 percent.  It notes most hospitals operate at between 95-98 percent and short stays between 100-105 percent are not a concern.

A Department of Health and Social Services spokesperson says hospitals current focus is decreasing admissions and increasing hospital discharges to manage capacity.

That effort includes reducing non-urgent procedures and prioritizing which elective, nonurgent procedures to limit if hospitalizations continue to rise.  It also includes administering monoclonal antibodies to eligible COVID positive patients.

DHSS also notes COVID-related staff shortages are the biggest current concern and the initiation of staff vaccinations this week is considered "important step forward for preserving staff and hospital capacity."


Credit Delaware Division of Public Health
The Delaware Division of Public Health’s Director Dr. Karyl Rattay and Medical Director Dr. Rick Hong look over the shipment of 7,800 doses of Pfizer vaccine as it arrives at the DPH warehouse on Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020

The state received another 7,800 hundred doses of the Pfizer COVID vaccine at the Division of Public Health warehouse in Kent County.  Bayhealth recieved the first batch of 975 on Monday and administered 88 doses to its staff Tuesday.

Most of the doses arriving Wednesday will go to the state's five other health systems - Beebe Healthcare, ChristianaCare, Nemours duPont Hospital for Children, Saint Francis Healthcare, and TidalHealth Nanticoke - in the next 24-48 hour for frontline healthcare workers.

Delaware also saw another 7 report COVID-related deaths, lifting the state’s death toll to 833.

Three of the deaths were in Sussex County and two each in Kent and New Castle Counties.  All of the victims had underlying health conditions.

Delaware saw 776 new cases Tuesday, leaving its 7-day rolling average for new cases at 800. The state’s seven day rolling percentage of positive tests is holding below 10 dropped to 9.4 percent.

Delaware is closing in on 48,000 positive cases of COVID-19 out of more than 864,000 total tests.

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.
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