State opens call center for coronavirus information

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The DelawareDivision of Public Health (DPH) announced the opening of a call center at its State Health Operations Center (SHOC) in Smyrna.

The call center is open to take questions from the public, schools, medical providers, state agencies and community organizations. The hours of operation will be 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Hours may be adjusted to accommodate for peak volume.

The call center number is 1-866-408-1899. There is also an email address where individuals can submit questions: DPHCall@delaware.gov . A recorded message will provide instructions for persons calling after 4:30 p.m. or on weekends who may have symptoms of concern.

Additionally, if you are a returning traveler from a country with a level 2 Travel Alert or higher (China, Japan, Italy, South Korea or Iran), and have a medical emergency, you should contact 9-1-1.

“We are receiving a tremendous number of calls from concerned individuals, and from organizations seeking guidance on what they should be doing to mitigate community spread of coronavirus disease, should it occur in Delaware,” said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. “Opening this call center will enable us to answer people’s very valid concerns and enable key epidemiology staff to better focus on the job of monitoring returning travelers, and maintaining our high level of surveillance.”

DPH is also ramping up its activities by centralizing staff at the​State Health Operations Centerto aid communication among DPH’s many sections that are involved in this response.

After consultation with the Governor’s Office and State Partners, Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA) Director AJ Schall and Governor John Carney have activated the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) and enacted the Delaware Emergency Operations Plan in order to support the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services.

Monday, DPH announced the Division of Public Health Lab in Smyrna now has the capability to test for coronavirus disease known as COVID-19. The tests for the two patients in Kent County, the first run at the lab, came back negative. To date, there have been eight Patients Under Investigation whose results have been negative. There is one additional patient whose test results are currently pending.

DPH is also focusing its outreach efforts in the coming week to the business community. Employers are encouraged to review flexible leave policies and consider options for employees such as telecommuting both for returning travelers from Level 2 or higher countries, and in the event of community spread of coronavirus disease.

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