Delaware Public Media

Delaware announces another positive COVID-19 case, bringing statewide total to 7

Mar 15, 2020

Delaware’s Division of Public Health reports another positive case of the new coronavirus disease, bringing the total statewide to seven.

Officials say the case is a woman under the age of 30 associated with the University of Delaware (UD). They say she is self-isolating at home. Officials are still investigating how she was exposed.


The Division of Public Health is working to identify her “close contacts." Officials plan to provide guidance to those who may have been exposed, and monitor them for development of symptoms. 


The first six cases in Delaware are also associated with UD — and were either linked to other confirmed cases in the state or a known out-of-state exposure event. According to state officials, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is no longer requiring presumptive positive receive CDC confirmation, and so all presumptive positives cases so far are considered confirmed.

UD moved up spring break, is closing its student residential facilities and is moving to online classes for the rest of the spring semester in response to the outbreak. 


The state has tested at least 72 individuals so far for COVID-19, the new coronavirus disease. 


State Division of Public Health Director Dr. Karyl Rattay says due to the significantly increased number of tests being submitted to the state public health lab and commercial labs, the state will only be reporting postive cases to the public from now on.


“Because of the nature of this disease, we know that we are going to continue to see an increased number of cases in Delaware," Rattay said in a statement.


People with symptoms can be tested through the state’s public health laboratory in Smyrna — or through LabCorp, a commercial lab, with a physician’s order. 


ChristianaCare held a drive-through event to collect specimens for testing in Wilmington Friday, and Beebe Healthcare held a similar event in Lewes Saturday. 


Gov. John Carney announced a State of Emergency due to the COVID-19 outbreak Thursday. 

He directed all public schools to close for two weeks Friday.


This story has been updated.