UK Covid-19 strain makes its presence known as cases, hospitalizations decline

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Delaware has reported a handful cases of the faster-spreading UK variant of coronavirus, a development that casts a cloud over a decline in new cases and hospitalizations.

To date, the Delaware Division of Public Health has identified six confirmed cases of the Covid-19 strain.

This variant is the same one that was first discovered in England in December and is also commonly referred to as the UK Variant.j The cases include five adults ranging in age from 18-65, as well as a child under the age of 10. Four individuals were from New Castle County and two were from Kent County.

Virus mutation is common, public health officials said. Preliminary data suggests the UK variant, as well as Brazilian and South African variants, may spread more easily and quickly.

Public health officials said the usual measures, masks, social distancing, hand washing and staying away from large crowds reduce the risks of catching Covid-19.

A total of 82,263 positive cases of Covid-19 among Delaware residents have been reported to DPH since March 11, 2020. The seven-day average of new positive cases increased slightly to 396.7 as of Thursday, Feb. 11.

The seven-day average for the percentage of persons who tested positive for COVID-19 as of Thursday, Feb. 11, was 21.4 percent, an increase from 20.9 percent as of Thursday, Feb. 4.

As of Tuesday, Feb. 9, the seven-day average for the percentage of total tests that were positive was 6.1 percent, a decrease from 7.2 percent as of Tuesday, Feb. 2. The total test measurement, which has a two-day lag time,

There is a two-day lag for presenting data related to percent of tests that are positive to account for the time delay between the date of the test and the date that DPH receives the test result. The total test measurement takes into account people who have been tested more than once.

A total of 247 individuals are currently hospitalized with Covid-19 complications, a decrease of 43 as of this time last week. Twenty-three people are critically ill, down 17 from last week.

A total of 1,269 Delawareans have died due to complications from Covid-19. The state reported 78 additional deaths since last week’s update as death records were reviewed. The total number of individuals who have died from Covid-19 range in age from younger than 5 to 104 years old. Of those who have died, 638 were female and 631 were male.

A total of 610 individuals who died were from New Castle County, 267 were from Kent County, and 392 were from Sussex County.

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