Covid update: Feds to step up vaccine shipments, deaths continue to increase

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Delaware continued to see an elevated level of new Covid-related deaths as the number of new cases declines.

As of Tuesday night, 22 deaths were reported – 17 from a review of Vital Statistics records, primarily from January. The deaths included eight individuals from New Castle County, seven from Kent County and seven from Sussex County.

Those who died ranged in age from their 40s to their 100s, and six were residents of long-term care facilities. The deaths increased Delaware’s total number of Covid-related deaths to 1,130.

The deaths reflect the surge in coronavirus cases during the holiday period in November and December.

The state is seeing a seven-day average of new cases of about 500, with that number dropping in recent days. Recent snowfall depressed testing numbers and could further affect results.
At his weekly coronavirus briefing on Tuesday, Gov. John Carney said Delaware will get 22 percent more doses in the coming weeks. The state has been receiving 15,000 to 20,000 weekly doses.
As of Wednesday, the state’s vaccination tracker showed the following, following a shipment of more than 10,000 doses on Tuesday.
Doses Delivered to Delaware
131,775
Doses Administered
110,707
Doses Remaining
21,068
Carney said the state had developed infrastructure that could administer 100,000 vaccine doses a week if that number could be delivered. Carney said the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine would be a game-changer in stepping up vaccinations if and when it gains approval.
While not having the 90 to 95 percent effectiveness figures of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, data indicate that it will put a big dent in the number of serious cases that require hospital stays.
Carney said Delaware now expects more guidance from the federal government on the number of doses to be received. That should allow better scheduling of vaccine events. In the past, estimates from the feds were adjusted, usually downward.
Hospitalizations stood at 332, up to six from the previous day, including 44 people in critical condition. The peak figure of hospital stays had been as high as 475.
However, the number of hospitalizations remains near the spring peak. That wave was more deadly. Treatments and drug regimens have improved the odds.
State Division of Public Health Director Dr. Karyl Rattay said that the number of hotspots with higher rates of positive tests is mainly confined to Sussex County areas that include Georgetown, Selbyville, and Ocean View. In New Castle County, the Townsend area has a high rate.
Rattay continued to emphasize that the virus is widespread in every zip code.

For more data, including breakdowns by age, sex, race/ethnicity, at the statewide, county, and, in some cases, zip code or census tract level, click herefor the MyHealthyCommunity portal.

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