First case of new Covid variant detected in Delaware


The Delaware Public Health Laboratory identified a case of the widely publicized SARS-CoV-2 lineage BA.2.86 from a specimen provided to the laboratory for testing.

This is the first case of BA.2.86 detected in Delaware. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is publishing weekly updates on this new variant including current risk assessment and scientific analysis on its website: 

The news comes after it was announced that First Lady Jill Biden tested positive for Covid-19, President Joe Biden tested negative.

According to the state Division of Public Health, the latest developments are a reminder that while the Public Health Emergency for Covid-19 has ended, versions of the virus remain. An updated vaccine, designed to protect against the newly circulating variants, will be available later this month pending final approvals.

The Division of Public Health issued the following advisory: 

  1. Get vaccinated or boosted when eligible (Talk to your health care provider or visit a public health clinic to discuss what is best for your individual situation). 
  2. Stay home if sick and get tested if you have symptoms or were exposed to someone with Covid-19. 
  3. If you test positive, inquire about treatment. 
  4. Wear a mask in crowded indoor spaces as cases rise or if you or someone you know is at higher risk for illness.