Covid-related hospitalizations, new cases, break record

Coronavirus test concept - vial sample tube with cotton swab, red checkmark next to word positive, blurred vials and blue nitrile gloves background. (Sticker is own design with dummy data) (Coronavirus test concept - vial sample tube with cotton swab,

The number of people in Delaware hospitals with Covid-19 complications rose to a record, according to the Monday summary from the Delaware Division of Public Health.

Hospitalizations now total 589, shattering the previous record of 474 in January 2021.

Of those hospitalized, 69 are listed in critical condition up from fewer than 20 during the 2021 low point.

Daily cases remained in the 3,000 range going into the New Year’s weekend as test results come in from previous days. The total number of new cases on New Year’s Day now totals 3,333.

Other numbers

  • Delaware’s total number of Covid-related deaths remained at 2,286.
  • 1,444 new positive cases, bringing the overall total to 189,382.
  • 24.8% of total tests were positive in the 7-day rolling average, up 1.7 percentage points from the previous day.
  • 26 new hospital admissions (unchanged from the previous day.
  • 7,472 tests performed daily in the 7-day average, py 684 from the previous day.

The surge in new cases is believed to be tied to the fast-spreading Omicron variant.

DPH did not include the number of sampled variants in its most recent weekly report, citing the pressures of dealing with a surge in testing.

Early evidence seems to suggest that Omicron results in less serious cases of the virus.

On Monday Gov. John Carney’s emergency order went into effect. It increases the presence of the National Guard in dealing with a growing number of more severe cases of the virus.

One encouraging development comes from the surge in cases not resulting in the same percentage of serious cases as in the past. Despite daily case numbers being nearly double the figure seen in early 2021, the ratio of hospitalizations to positive cases has declined, thanks to vaccinations and advances in treatment.

However, the spread of Omicron endangers those with compromised immune systems. In such cases, vaccines are not effective.

About 69% of the state’s population has received at least one dose of vaccine. Of those 18 and older, the figure is nearing 89%.

Still, hospitals in the state are full to overflowing due to Covid cases, seasonal flu and related illnesses, accidents, and those who did not seek treatment for medical conditions earlier in the pandemic. There has also been a steady uptick in critical Covid cases that demand the highest and most labor-intensive level of care.

Signs point to less seriously ill Covid patients going to alternate facilities to ease the burden on hospitals later in January.

For more data, including breakdowns by age, sex, race/ethnicity, at the statewide, county, and, in some cases, ZIP code or census tract level, click here.