Covid-19 hospitalizations, driven by the unvaccinated, head toward 300 mark

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Fatality rates decline, mask-wearing strongly advised

Covid-19 hospitalizations in Delaware are nearing the 300 mark,  adding to pressure on the medical staffs who have been battling the virus for 20 months.

Gov. Johnn Carney reported hospital numbers are reminiscent of the winter 2020-2021 surge. Carney spoke at a press briefing today that came in response to the upturn in cases.

Earlier in the year, hospitalizations dipped below 50.

The surge in cases is putting pressure on hospitals that, unlike the period a year ago, have returned to normal operations that include elective surgeries. Hospitals are also dealing with sicker people who were afraid to deal with medical issues during the earlier stages of the pandemic.

The difference this time around is the lower death rate from the virus due to vaccinations that limit the number of severe cases, according to the governor.

“We need to stamp down this surge,”  Carney said as he urged more vaccinations. In addition, the governor strongly urged Delawareans to wear masks in public places indoors.

Carney was joined by Dr. Karyl Rattay, director of, Delaware Division of Public Health, and  AJ Schall, director of, Delaware Emergency Management Agency.

Rattay said the 50% surge in new cases during the past week is driven by the Delta Covid-19 Variant.

Deaths and hospitalizations are tied to a lack of vaccinations. Eighty percent of fatalities and deaths are among those who are not vaccinated. 

Delaware is also seeing an increase in childhood cases of Covid-19. Rattay said it is disappointing that Delaware ranks low in the percentage of child vaccinations.

Younger people continue to have lower vaccination rates, especially in portions of Kent and Sussex counties, Rattay reported. 

The public health director said misinformation (chips implanted during vaccinations, effects on fertility) continue to hold down vaccination rates and suggested people with questions to consult their physician and credible sources of information.

“We can’t give up,” Carney said in response to the challenge of convincing people who believe sometimes outrageous claims by anti-vaccination influencers. 

Emergency Director Schall said the state monitors capacity issues at hospitals that earlier led to restrictions at smaller facilities in the southern part of the state. The problems are related to staffing rather than square footage, Schall said.

There has also been concern about the Omicron variant, which has shown up in neighboring states.

“It’s only a matter of time” (before Omicron cases appear), Rattay said.

There was no mention of restrictions. However, Carney said he will not order a mask mandate and will strongly urge their use.

A link to the briefing is below. A replay will be available.

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