Delaware Covid case numbers rise with Brazil variant showing up in test samples

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The Delaware Division of Public Health reports a continued increase in the number of Covid-19 cases and the presence of the Gamma variant from Brazil.

As of Monday, the seven-day average for the percentage of total positive tests was 2.8%, up from the summer low of 1 percent. The number of new cases, as of Sunday was 61, after falling into the 20s earlier in the summer.

The rate of new cases remains about half the national figure.

This is the fourth straight week Delaware has seen an increase in cases. 

See the interactive graphic below from FactsUSA that compares Delaware with other states in the one-week rate new cases. Laptop computer users can tap on the individual state.

In addition, 34 individuals are currently hospitalized due to Covid-19 in Delaware, a decrease of one from last week.

A total of 1,698 Delawareans have died due to complications from Covid-19. One new death was reported in the past week. As was the case in other deaths over the past few weeks, the individual was not fully immunized.

Vaccinations

According to Monday data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 72% of Delawareans ages 18 and older have received at least one dose of the vaccine. The vaccination rate has been rising  at the painfully slow rate of a tenth of a percent per day.

As of  Monday a total of 1,048,000  administered doses of the Covid-19 vaccine have been reported to the state’s immunization information system.

Delaware’s latest vaccination statistics can be found under the Vaccine Tracker dashboard at de.gov/healthycommunity.

Covid variants

As of Friday, July 23, the Division of Public Health has identified the following Covid 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. There were no Delta variant cases identified during sequencing over the past week.

In Delaware, the  Gamma (Brazil) strain has shown up  in more samples than Delta. The variant may be more resistant to treatment for those who become seriously ill from the virus.

Variants  of Concern
 
Variants of Interest
Variant
Origin
# of Cases
Variant
Origin
# of Cases
Alpha/B.1.1.7
United Kingdom
975
Eta/B.1.525
UK/Nigeria(formerly NEW York, US)
2
Beta/B.1.351
South Africa
1
Iota/B.1.526/B.1526.1
New York, US
324
Gamma/P.1
Brazil
59
Epsilon/B.1.427
California, US
10
Delta/B.1.617.2
India
31
Epsilon/B.1.429
California, US
11
           

The Delaware Public Health Laboratory sequenced 3,363 specimens for COVID-19 variant strains to date, including 46 within the past week.

In total, the cases include 1,157 adults ranging in age from 18- 98 and 256 individuals under the age of 18.

 But because these variants may spread more easily, it is even more important that unvaccinated individuals who are more susceptible to getting COVID-19 continue taking the necessary steps to avoid spreading the virus – wearing a mask, washing your hands, and avoiding gatherings.

The science is clear that the vaccines are extremely safe and effective even against variants- and Delawareans who are fully vaccinated have significant protection from COVID-19 infection and serious illness. Therefore, we would encourage all Delawareans to get vaccinated -de.gov/getmyvaccine.

Breakthrough cases

To date, 465,378 Delawareans have been fully vaccinated. Of those, there have been 518 breakthrough cases of Covid-19, one-tenth of one percent.

A breakthrough case is defined as testing positive for COVID-19 after an individual has been fully vaccinated for two weeks or more – although it does not mean that the infection actually occurred after vaccination.

Twenty-two of the reported breakthrough cases involved hospitalizations. Eight individuals died, although it does not mean Covid was the cause of death. 

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