Weekly Covid report shows continued decline in cases, hospital stays

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According to the weekly report from the Delaware Division of Public Health, the number of new coronavirus cases continues to decline.

As of Thursday night, a total of 108,681 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 decreased to 74.1 as of Thursday, May 27. The average number of cases had been in the 700 range during part of the winter.

As of Tuesday, the seven-day average for the percentage of total positive tests was 2.7%, decreasing from 3.6% as of Tuesday, May 18. The World Health Organization views five percent as a moderate level of cases.

There is a two-day lag for presenting data related to the percentage of positive tests to account for the time delay between the date of the test and the date that DPH receives the test result.

A total of 62 individuals are currently hospitalized due to Covid-19 in Delaware, down 12 from this time last week. Hospitalizations had risen to as many as 475 during the winter.

Nine of the hospitalized persons are critically ill, down one from last week.

A total of 1,660 Delawareans have passed away due to complications from COVID-19. The state reported six additional deaths since last week’s update.

The total number of individuals who have died from Covid-19 complications ranges from younger than 5 to 104 years old. Of those who have died, 833 were female, and 827 were male. A total of 824 individuals were from New Castle County, 343 were from Kent County, and 493 were from Sussex County.

While the cases of Covid-19 have significantly decreased in recent weeks, the Division of Public Health saw an increase in cases last year after the Memorial Day weekend due to Delawareans dropping their guard.

Those not fully vaccinated are advised to continue to wear masks. If someone is not able or unwilling to wear a mask, it is advisable to stay six feet away from others.

The Division of Public Health has identified the following Covid-19 variants in Delaware through routine surveillance of test specimens. These variants are based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) list of Variants of Concern and Variants of Interest.

The number of tests indicating the presence of the India variant increased from one to four. However, the bulk of tests detected the UK variant.

Variants of Concern Variants of Interest
Variant Origin # of Cases Variant Origin # of Cases
B.1.1.7 United Kingdom 771 B.1.525 New York, US 2
B.1.351 South Africa 1 B.1.526 New York, US 260
B.1.427 California, US 9 B.1.526.1 New York, US 29
B.1.429 California, US 11 B.1.617.2 India 4
P.1 Brazil 23

The Delaware Public Health Laboratory has sequenced 2,690 specimens for COVID-19 variant strains to date, including 135 within the past week.

Virus mutation is common. Variants may be more contagious, with hand-washing and social distancing still advisable.

The state also reported a small percentage of breakthrough cases. The term is used to described vaccinated individuals who contract the virus. So far, less than one-tenth of one percent of those fully vaccinated have been affected by breakthrough cases.

Eight of the reported breakthrough cases involved hospitalizations, and two resulted in death. Both cases involved individuals with underlying health conditions.

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