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Vast Majority Of COVID-19 Cases Do Not Require Hospitalization

On Saturday the Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) updated the number of positive cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) to 45.

This morning Sunday, March 22, 2012, the state is reporting 47 total laboratory-confirmed cases in the state since March 11. Of the Delawareans diagnosed with COVID-19, 33 are from New Castle County, five are from Kent County, and nine are from Sussex County.

In a television interview over the weekend, Governor Carney reported that five people were hospitalized with COVID-19 and that two or three of the patients were in critical condition.

An online tool that tracks the current reported U.S.cases state by state is reporting that out of the roughly 27,000 positive cases reported roughly 97%, over 25,000, are considered mild. The other 3%, around 700, are considered to be in serious condition.

Before the additional two Delaware cases were announced this morning the state said of the 45 cases, 24 were male and 21 were female. The individuals range in age from 14 to 80. Five individuals are currently hospitalized; two are critically ill. To protect personal health information, DPH will not be disclosing additional information about the individuals. DPH said they cannot confirm specific information even if other entities choose to make their own announcements.

The source of exposure for many of these positive cases is unknown, which indicates community spread of the virus is occurring in the state.

“The presence of community spread shows that we all must take the danger associated with this virus seriously,” said Dr. Karyl Rattay, director of the Division of Public Health. “For every person infected with COVID-19, they typically infect two to three additional people. That’s why the steps that Governor Carney has taken to close schools, restaurants and bars, recreational facilities and beaches is so important. We need to take these steps to prevent widespread outbreaks and slow the spread of the virus.”

If you think you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, or have symptoms of illness, make sure to distance yourself from vulnerable populations. This includes people 60 years of age and older; people with serious chronic health conditions such as diabetes, lung disease, heart disease; or those who are immunocompromised.

For individuals who are sick, particularly with fever and cough, or shortness of breath, stay home and contact your primary care provider for guidance regarding symptoms and next steps.

Governor John Carney, along with the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS), announced on Friday, a coordinated statewide plan to ensure individuals with symptoms consistent with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) have access to safe and efficient testing in Delaware. This plan will be rolled out during the week of Monday, March 23.

Through a collaborative effort between DPH, Delaware Healthcare Association, and each of the health care systems in the state, this statewide plan aims to streamline the testing process, reduce the burden on the health system, ensure the safety of patients and health care workers, and better meet the COVID-19 testing needs of Delawareans.

For those who have been tested for the virus, please note that the DPH Call Center does not have test results. Individuals awaiting test results, should wait to hear back from their medical provider.

Many individuals infected with COVID-19 recover by resting, drinking plenty of liquids and taking pain and fever-reducing medications. However, illness can be severe and require hospitalization in some cases.

Delawareans with general questions about COVID-19 or their exposure risk can call the Division of Public Health’s Coronavirus Call Center at 1-866-408-1899, or 711 for individuals who are hearing-impaired, from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Questions can also be submitted by email at

About Staff Writer

First State Update's Delaware editorial team covers New Castle County, Kent County and Sussex County breaking news, political news, and general news stories. We bring the reader the latest news from the Wilmington, Newark, Dover, Rehoboth Beach and all point in between. If you have news to share, email us at

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