Delaware Public Media

Delaware ramps up coronavirus precautions, two non-symptomatic travelers being monitored

Feb 7, 2020

Delaware’s Division of Public Health (DPH) is doing more to prevent a potential case of coronavirus in the First State.

The state is increasing its monitoring of people traveling from China at the request of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

All persons returning from Hubei Province, and all symptomatic persons returning from mainland China, will be quarantined in the city they land for 14 days. 

All other travelers from mainland China without symptoms will be allowed to return home, but will be asked to stay there, keep in touch with public health officials for 14 days and continually take thier temperature. 

State Medical Director Dr. Rick Hong says two people in Delaware are currently being monitored in this way. 

“I just want to stress that these travelers are returning from China. Though they may have some risk of becoming sick, they pose really no risk to the public," said Hong. "We’re just being very careful with them. We want to make sure they are supported during the 14 day period, as well as getting them medical attention as quickly as possible if they need it ”     

The new monitoring guidelines are in effect for travelers returning to Delaware after Feb. 3. DPH said in a release it will begin reporting the number of returning travelers from China being monitored on its website by Monday, Feb. 10.  

Hong says that, though information on the coronavirus changes frequently, the latest information suggests most people get sick between four to seven day after being exposed.

"But there have been some cases that actually present after 14 days of exposure, and that's why that 14-day period is being used at this time," he said.

Hong reminds those who become sick in Delaware and have not traveled to China - and have not come into contact with anyone who has - most likely have the flu and not 2019-nCoV.

Delaware has confirmed nearly 3,000 flu cases statewide this season and there have been four related deaths.

The coronavirus is reported to have infected more than 31,000 people worldwide and killed 638 people, mostly in China.

Precautionary testing for coronovirus in one Kent County resident came back negative last weekend.