Weekly Covid report: Delta variant takes hold with two dozen deaths, 200+ hospitalizations

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The weekly report from the Delaware Division of Public health shows a continued increase in new cases, deaths, and hospitalizations from Covid-19.

The faster-spreading Delta variant accounted for 97% of recent test samples. 

The closely watched seven-day average of new positive cases increased to 354.1 as of Thursday, August 26, 2021, up from 289 a week earlier.

  As of Tuesday, August 24, the seven-day average for the percentage of total positive tests was 7.5%, a decrease from 7.8% as of Tuesday, August 17.

The silver lining was the state is seeing a doubling of cases that can occur with Covid-19.   

In addition, 210 individuals are hospitalized due to Covid-19 in Delaware, an increase of 45 from last week.

Thirty-four of the hospitalized persons are critically ill, an increase of five from last week. 

 Hospitalizations have ranged from below 25 to as high. as 474 during the pandemic.

 A total of 1,875 Delawareans have passed away due to complications from Covid-19. Twenty-four deaths were reported in the past week, nine of which were from a review of vital statistics records.

 Covid 19 Vaccinations:   

Helping to limit the current outbreak was the state’s vaccination rate which remains above the national average.

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 75.6% of Delawareans 18 or over have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

As of August 27, 1,109,421 administered doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been reported to the state’s immunization information system, DelVAX.

Among Delawareans 12+, 554,201 have received at least one dose of the vaccine, and 492,758 Delawareans are fully vaccinated. Based on the state’s 2020 census figures, about 56% of the state’s residents have received at least one dose, with about half fully vaccinated.

Delaware’s latest COVID-19 vaccination statistics can be found under the Vaccine Tracker dashboard at de.gov/healthycommunity.   

Covid-19 case vaccination status 

The following report summary includes a weekly breakdown of vaccination status for cases, deaths, and hospitalizations for the time frame for August 16 – August 22. 

The report highlights the high percentage of cases and hospitalized individuals in Delaware who are unvaccinated or only partially vaccinated. 

The report does not include information on the ages of those hospitalized or deceased.

Weekly Overview
(8/16 -8/22)
Unvaccinated Cases
Total Unvaccinated / Partially Vaccinated Cases 1783
Total Cases 2309
Percent of Unvaccinated / Partially Vaccinated Cases 77%
Hospitalizations
Unvaccinated / Partially Vaccinated Hospitalized  Cases 94
Total Hospitalized Cases 128
% of Unvaccinated / Partially Vaccinated Hospitalized  Cases 73%
Deaths
Unvaccinated / Partially Vaccinated COVID-19 Deaths 8
Total COVID-19 Deaths 13
% of Unvaccinated/ Partially Vaccinated COVID-19 Deaths 62%

 

Breakthrough Cases  

To date, 492,758 Delawareans have been fully vaccinated. Of that number, 1,544 breakthrough cases of Covid-19, occurring in approximately three-tenths of 1 percent of vaccinated individuals.

The percentage has risen from one-tenth of one percent but is far below Pfizer and Moderna vaccines’ 90 to 95% effectiveness rate.

Forty-three of the reported breakthrough cases identified since vaccinations began involved hospitalizations, and 21 individuals passed away, although it does not mean Covid-19 was the cause of death.

Breakthrough cases continue to be rare, given the total number of persons who are fully vaccinated.

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. 

Covid-19 variant cases 

As of Friday, August 27, 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 CDC recently removed Epsilon/B.1.427 and Epsilon/B.1.429 from the Variants of Interest list that had been included.

Of the test samples sequenced, 68% percent of the 139 test samples sequenced at the DPH Lab were positive for a variant strain, as were 20 additional specimens sequenced at an outside lab. This brings the total of variant positive samples to 114 for the week. A total of 97% were identified as the Delta variant strain. 

Variants of Concern      Variants of Interest  
Variant   Origin   # of Cases   Variant   Origin   # of Cases  
Alpha/B.1.1.7    United Kingdom   1007   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    330  
Gamma/P.1   Brazil   63   Epsilon/B.1.427   California, US   10  
Delta/B.1.617.2   India   255   Epsilon/B.1.429   California, US   11  
                       

The Delaware Public Health Laboratory has sequenced 3,880 specimens for COVID-19 variant strains to date.

In total, cases include 1,376 adults ranging in age from 18-98 and 282 individuals under the age of 18. A total of 1,227  were from New Castle County, 223 were from Kent County, and 208 were from Sussex County.     

Testing recommended after attending big gatherings.  

Given the increase in recent Covid-19 cases and a large number of gatherings and events that traditionally take place this month, it is recommended that individuals get tested if they have attended a large public gathering such as a concert, community-based event, or any event where social distancing was not possible. The vaccination status of others is unknown.

The state has seen an increase in cases, typically mild,  among the fully vaccinated. 

Testing is also recommended if you attended gatherings such as birthday parties, off-to-college parties, or weddings where people were in close contact, and you were unable to confirm the vaccination status of those around you, especially if gatherings were indoors.

A list of testing locations can be found at de.gov/gettested. Additionally, at-home test options are listed on the site, including take-home test kits available at Delaware libraries.

The rapid antigen test kits produce results in as little as 15 minutes and can be kept at home if someone develops symptoms. According to the Division of Public Health, if you have symptoms of Covid-19, do not come to a library for a test kit. 

 

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