Covid cases down as death and hospitalization toll rises, mainly from those not up to date on vaccinations

Coronavirus covid-19 pandemic in world, 3D illustration. Novel coronavirus 2019-nCoV . Concept of coronavirus quarantine. Pandemic stop Novel Coronavirus outbreak covid-19 2019-nCoV quarantine. (Coronavirus covid-19 pandemic in world, 3D illustration.

The Delaware Division of Public Health reported a 28% decrease in Covid-19 cases and 29% decrease in hospitalizations in the last month as it encourages residents to remain current on their vaccinations, including getting the updated bivalent booster.

Delawareans, many if not most with underlying health conditions, are dying from Covid-19. In the last month, 68 Covid-related deaths were reported in Delaware, nearly twice the number reported last month. Fifty-four of those deaths were reported after a review of vital statistics between November 2022 and January 2023.

The deaths are also a lagging indicator of cases of the virus that increased as families gathered indoors over the holidays. The state has seen a triple wave of flu, RSV, and Covid cases that left some employers short-handed, especially when coupled with a labor shortage in some areas.

The effectiveness of the booster in preventing cases is in the 50% range as many who have been boosted found but is highly effective in warding off serious cases.

As part of the monthly report, the department issued a weekly snapshot summary that showed those not up to date on vaccinations accounted for 80% of hospital stays and 60% of deaths.


Click here for more detailed statistics from the Division of Public Health.

Weekly Overview 
(01/30/23 – 02/05/23) 
Not up-to-date Cases 
Total Not up-to-date Cases 791 
Total Cases 983 
Percent of Not up-to-date Cases 80% 
Not up-to-date Hospitalized Cases 
Total Not up-to-date Hospitalized Cases 204 
Total Hospitalized Cases 253 
Percent of Not up-to-date Cases 80% 
Not up-to-date Deaths 
Total Not up-to-date Deaths 
Total COVID-19 Deaths 
Percent of Not up-to-date Deaths 60% 
Division of Public Health figures

Public health officials say getting the updated booster is shown to be effective at reducing the risk of hospitalization and death. Overall, in Delaware, more than 85% of people who tested positive for Covid-19 and were hospitalized or died, were not up-to-date with their vaccines, meaning they did not have all recommended vaccines or an updated booster.

Delaware public health officials noted that the CDC, researchers recently analyzed infections and deaths among individuals ages 12 and older between October 2021 and December 2022 and found that people who received the updated Covid-19 booster were 14 times less likely to die from the virus than someone who had not been vaccinated at all. The research also showed that individuals who had received the updated Covid-19 vaccine also were three times less likely to die than someone who had only received the original vaccine series.

Individuals who are unsure about whether they are current on their vaccinations can visit A chart outlining all current vaccination situations and age groups allows users to see whether they are up to date on their Covid-19 vaccinations or if they need to take action, according to state Public Health officials.

Also, if you are sick, stay home, test when symptoms appear or when you have been exposed to someone with Covid-19, ask your health care provider about treatment options, stay current with vaccinations and boosters, and consider wearing a mask in crowded spaces.

Covid cases and hospitalization summary

  • Total positive cases since March 11, 2020: 327,873. (Figures are higher since many cases are no longer reported as patients isolate at home.)
  • Seven-day daily average of new positive cases: 145.1, a decrease of 76.2 since last month.
  • Seven-day daily average for the percentage of total positive tests: 13%, a decrease of 2.5%  from last month.
  • Hospitalizations: 142 current hospitalizations, nine critical hospitalizations. Both are down from post-holiday peak.
  • Total  deaths: 3,288, an increase of 68 from last month, including 54 from a vital statistics review between November 2022 and January 2023. The death toll equals the population within the corporate limits of the Sussex County town of Milton.

COVID-19 Vaccinations:

  • Total number of doses administered in Delaware: 2,152,406
  • Percentage of Delawareans 5+ who are fully vaccinated (CDC data): 77.4%
  • Percentage of Delawareans 12+ who are fully vaccinated (CDC data): 81.5%
  • Percentage of Delawareans 18+ who are fully vaccinated (CDC data): 83.1%
  • Percent of Delawareans who are fully vaccinated (CDC data): 73.3%