Weekly Covid update: Case numbers down, variants widespread

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In its weekly report, the Delaware Division of Public Health reported a decline in the number of coronavirus cases as variants become a bigger factor.

The United Kingdom variant is by far the most widely detected strain detected in sampling by the state. Vaccines are reported to be effective in battling the variants.

Variants are suspected of contributing to an elevated number of Covid-19 cases, despite Delaware reporting nearly 45 percent of its population receiving at least one dose of vaccine.

A total of 104,405 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 as of April 29 decreased to 257.6 after being at the 300-plus level, as of Thursday.

The seven-day average for the percentage of persons who tested positive as of Thursday, April 29, was 21.2 percent, decreasing from 24.4 percent as of Thursday, April 22.

On Tuesday, April 27, the seven-day average for the percentage of total tests that were positive was 5.6 percent, a slight decrease from 5.7 percent as of Tuesday, April 20.

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. State health officials would like to see a five or lower positive test rate as a sign of reduced spread.

In addition, 166 individuals are currently hospitalized due to Covid-19 in Delaware, down two from this time last week. Fifteen of the hospitalized persons are critically ill, down six from last week.

A total of 1,625 Delawareans have passed died due to complications from Covid-19. Since last week’s update, the state reported 16 additional deaths, including six from a review of vital statistics records.

The total number of individuals who have died from Covid-19 ranges from younger than 5 to 104 years old. Of those who have died, 814 were female and 811 were male. A total of 808 individuals were from New Castle County, 334 were from Kent County, and 483 were from Sussex County.

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

Variants of Concern Variants of Interest
Variant Origin # of Cases Variant Origin # of Cases
B.1.1.7 United Kingdom 300 B.1.525 New York, US 2
B.1.351 South Africa 1 B.1.526 New York, US 166
B.1.427 California, US 9
B.1.526.1 New York, US 11
B.1.429 California, US 11
P.1 Brazil 11

The cases include 440 adults ranging in age from 18-98 and 71 individuals under the age of 18. A total of 382 individuals were from New Castle County, 84 were from Kent County, and 45 were from Sussex County.

The Delaware Public Health Laboratory has sampled 1,821 specimens for variant strains to date, including 183 within the past week.

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