A look at the CHOP PolicyLab coronavirus forecast for Delaware
Health policy researchers at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia predict a second wave of COVID-19 nationwide. But they note transmission rates are growing slower in the northeast than in the middle of the country.
The CHOP PolicyLab in Philadelphia has predicted cases may continue to rise in much of Delaware through early November. The forecast is based on current cases, the weather and an estimate of social distancing behavior based on cell phone data.
PolicyLab director Dr. David Rubin said Tuesday the projection is most concerning for New Castle County, which he says experienced a spike in cases early this month.
“A lot of the pressure in Delaware was conferred from areas like Rehoboth Beach … We saw some of the summertime vacation travel effect,” he said. “[But] those subsided as we went into September. But what we're seeing now is increased risk concentrating to the more populated areas.”
The PolicyLab’s four-week projection also shows cases trending upward in Sussex County.
State data shows cases in Sussex have risen over the past two weeks—and the weekly average percent of people testing positive was above 10 percent Tuesday.
Sussex County towns saw some of the highest rates of infection this spring — particularly concentrated in the poultry processing industry. State public health officials said Tuesday they are concerned about recently increasing case rates in Ellendale, Georgetown and Lewes.
Public health officials are also watching Camden-Wyoming in Kent County and Brandywine Hundred in New Castle County.
Statewide, new daily cases trended upward over the past month. Virus-related hospitalizations nearly doubled in that time.
Rubin warns that hospitalizations will likely rise this winter.
“I know people said, well, we did see a ton of hospitalizations in the summer,” he said. “But wintertime transmission, the efficiency of this virus to propagate in colder temperatures, is much different than anything we saw in this region during the summer.”
Rubin reminds individuals to wear masks and keep gatherings small, especially heading into the winter holidays.