Delaware Public Media

COVID-19 hospitalizations fall to lowest level in weeks as 150 new cases announced

May 15, 2020

Delaware’s latest COVID-19 numbers include 11 new virus-related deaths and 150 new cases.

The state’s death toll is now 271, with 46 in the past four days.

 

The latest victms ranged in age from 57 to 96. Six lived in New Castle County, while two were from Kent County, and three from Sussex County. Three had underlying health conditions and nine were residents of long-term care facilities. 

 

Delaware now has 7,373 total COVID-19 cases since March 11th.

 

Current hospitalizations have dipped to the lowest level since April 21. They fell by four Friday to 269. 

 

The state also explained issues with key data it watches closely – 5 day averages for percentage people testing positive and new positive cases.

 

 

Both appeared to be rising this week, but Gov. John Carney says that was a “glitch.”

 

“It really had to do with the way data is entered into the system, and a competing objective that we have to get positive cases loaded up into the system so that information can be forwarded over to contact tracers so we can help prevent the spread [of the virus],” said Carney.

 

Div. of Public Health director Dr. Karyl Rattay says the issue stemmed from a backlog created by 9 thousand test results coming in at once from Sussex County last weekend. Rattay says when reporting positive cases was prioritized to begin contact tracing that skewed the data temporarily.

 

"We knew, and we looked into it very closely, that that wasn’t a reflection of what we were seeing in the community.  For example, in the poultry plants, we were seeing lower infections, by far, than we expected," said Ratty. "But we know it’s what you saw.”

 

Rattay says the state is working on data reporting issues by training additional people, pursuing technical solutions and perhaps suppressing data on days when fewer than 100 cases are reported.

The state also reported Friday that 130 more people are considered recovered, raising the number statewide to 3,210 so far.

State health officals also provided their weekly update on long-term care facilities statewide. Those facilities have seen a total of 542 positive COVID-19 cases. They also account for over half of the state's deaths 177.

27 separate facilities have had at least one COVID-19 related death. Genesis Healthcare's Milford Center has seen the most with 31 to date. Harrison House Senior Living in Georgetown has had 20 and Brandywine Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Wilmington has had 16.

This story was updated.