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Delaware's COVID numbers are rising after the holidays

Once again, COVID numbers are rising in Delaware post holidays.

The number of new COVID cases have been rising steadily over the past month with a 7-day average at 218.1 on the state’s My Healthy Community tracker. At the beginning of December, it was at just below 178.

There are also 220 hospitalizations with 17 of them critical, and that number has risen since Christmas Day when there were 154 COVID related hospitalizations. Data is as of January 3rd.

The 7-day average of percentage of tests positive is at 17.1% which is up from 8.2% at the start of December.

The state is still recommending residents to be up-to-date on vaccines, boosters, and if you’re eligible for the bivalent booster, to get that also.

Masking is also recommended, but not required except at certain places like Delaware State University which started classes Monday for its new semester.

Dr. Gregory Wanner is the chief physician with Delaware’s Division of Public Health, and he says masks are still effective.

"Masks do work in terms of helping to prevent the spread of COVID and flu. So I think it's a smart idea on their part to encourage masking for their students, and I think anyone who wants to mask should be allowed to do so because it can help decrease spread," said Wanner.

Wanner says while there is a post-holiday spike like the past couple of years, the hope is it won’t be as bad.

"We hope with increased vaccinations that it will continue to be hopefully not as bad in terms of hospitalizations or deaths, but we're really keeping a close watch on this," said Wanner.

He notes that numbers for the flu are decreasing in Delaware, but says the state will keep a close eye on those in the coming weeks.

Joe brings over 20 years of experience in news and radio to Delaware Public Media and the All Things Considered host position. He joined DPM in November 2019 as a reporter and fill-in ATC host after six years as a reporter and anchor at commercial radio stations in New Castle and Sussex Counties.