Delaware’s COVID-19 death toll now tops 300.
State health officals announced seven new deaths announced Monday, bringing the total statewide to 304.
It's the third consecutive day of single digit deaths related to COVID-19.
Tuesday's victims ranged in age from 38-to-94. Five lived in New Castle County and one each in Kent and Sussex Counties resident. Six of the individuals had underlying health conditions. Five lived at long-term care facilities.
Another 168 people in Delaware have tested positive for the virus, pushing the total since March 11 past the 8,000 mark to 8,037
Current hospitalizations dipped, down four to 236 statewide. 40 people are critically ill.
The five-day average of the percentage of people testing positive is below 10 – and according to the latest data, that number has been there for the past three days.
Gov. John Carney remains optimistic about the numbers as the state continues to ease some restrictions immediately ahead of entering Phase 1 of reopening the state June 1st.
But at his Tuesday briefing, Carney emphasized the need for people to follow the rules, like wearing masks and social distancing.
“I think you gotta cut to the chase with respect to the messaging and why these restrictions and requirements are put in place," said Carney. "It’s not to annoy people. It’s to protect others and the community so they can do what they want to do – go back more unfettered in the community, and at work and at play”
Carney has pointed to hospitalizations and percentage of people testing positive as key metics driving decisions on how to reopen and on the restrictions need to do so.
And he expressed annoyance Tuesday that some people suggest these decisions are arbitrary and not grounded in science.
We’re not making this stuff up. I’m not making this stuff up," said Carney. "This is advice we’re gettng from federal CDC. And with respect to mask wearing, we’ve been clear – we’ve been up and down a little bit on the advice - but we’ve been clear since we required it, that it’s more to protecting someone else than protecting the mask wearer.
Carney says he hears it from both sides about reopening – some arguing the state is not moving quickly enough and others saying its too fast.
He says he will continue to strike the right balance – following the science and data to protect public health while understanding the practical needs of businesses.
215 new people are considered recovered from COVID-19 for a total of 3,760 people since the start of the outbreak.
And now over 36,000 people have tested negative for the virus.