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What We Do And Don’t Know About How Delaware Is Counting COVID-19 Deaths

Each day the State of Delaware reports the number of COVID-19 deaths, cases, negative tests, cases by county and by age group. Those are the number we report.

In recent days the state began telling us that they are now reporting deaths of laboratory-confirmed individuals and “probable” deaths where the individual had clinically consistent symptoms and was exposed to a confirmed case, but was never tested.

 On Saturday the state also reported that 33 Delawareans have passed away from COVID-19, with the first patient actually passing away in a Maryland hospital.
 
In their latest report, the state said that 13 people that have tested positive for COVID-19 are from an unknown county. This is a new category and has not been explained by the state. It’s unclear if the state did not collect that information or if the 13  cases are from out of state.
 
We know that last week that the state said as hospitals continue to see an increase in hospitalizations due to COVID-19, the Division of Public Health will now report the total number of individuals hospitalized and those considered to be in critical condition in Delaware hospitals, including both Delaware and non-Delaware residents. The remaining categories of case statistics reported by DPH represent Delaware residents only.
First State Update has heard rumors that non-Delaware residents were being treated in Delaware hospitals for weeks, however, we have not been able to confirm that to be the case. The statement by the DPH appears to suggest that Delaware is currently treating patients with “COVID-19” from other states or has in the past weeks.
So what does all of this mean?
What we know is that the first “COVID-19 related fatality” from Delaware died in a Maryland hospital (3% of cases) and was counted as a Delaware death by DPH.  We do not know if that patient was tested or if they were a “probable COVID-19 related fatality.”
What We Know:
  • 55% of patients (18) that are being listed as COVID-19 deaths died at a long-term care facility in New Castle County.
  • 9% of patients (3) that are being listed as COVID-19 deaths died at a long-term care facility in Sussex County.
  • 6% of patients (2) that are being listed as COVID-19 deaths died after being hospitalized in Kent County.
  • 3% of patients (1) that are being listed as COVID-19 deaths died after being hospitalized in Sussex County.
  • 3% of patients (1) that are being listed as COVID-19 deaths died after being hospitalized in NCC.
  • 3% of patients (1) that are being listed as COVID-19 deaths died in NCC and was not hospitalized or in a long-term care facility.

 

What we Don’t Know:

  •  Information for 18% of patients (6) that are being listed as COVID-19 deaths is not publicly available. We do not know is these patients were in long-term care, hospitalized or were being treated out of state at the time of their deaths.
  • We also do not know how many patients that are currently hospitalized are out of state residents.
  • We don’t know if any out of state resident has been counted as a Delaware COVID-19 death or if there are plans to do so should a non-resident die in Delaware due to COVID-19.
  • On two separate occasions, the state’s official COVID-19 dashboard did not match numbers published by the state.  We do not have an answer for that at this time.
Long Term Care NCC 18
Long Term Care Kent
Long Term Care Sussex 3
Hospitalized NCC 1
Hospitalized Kent 2
Hospitalized Sussex 1
Not Hospitalized From NCC 1
Not Hospitalized From Kent
Not Hospitalized From Sussex
Hospitalized In Maryland 1
Unknown 6

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 desk@firststateupdate.com.

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