On Sunday the Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) is announced three more deaths from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) involving residents or patients at its 24/7 facilities.
A 72-year-old female resident from Delaware Hospital for the Chronically Ill in Smyrna died April 17 at a Kent County hospital and an 81-year-old female resident from the same facility died April 18 at a Kent County Hospital. In addition, an 82-year-old female patient at Delaware Psychiatric Center near New Castle died April 18 at a New Castle County hospital.
They are the second, third and fourth residents or patients from DHSS’ 24/7 facilities to die from COVID-19. A 57-year-old male resident from Governor Bacon Health Center in Delaware City died April 14 at a New Castle County hospital.
Starting Monday, the agency will begin providing its daily updates on COVID-19 statistics during the noon hour. Data will reflect the most current information available as of the close of business the previous day.
The DPH Epidemiology team has spent the past week transitioning to a new infectious disease surveillance system. In order to facilitate the team’s ability to make the final transition for implementing system enhancements, DPH will not be releasing updated case numbers or a press release today, Sunday, April 19, 2020. The online numbers will be updated again during the noon hour on Monday, followed by a press release outlining the latest statistics.
DPH said they are making the change in reporting time for several reasons. Some of those reasons include the time change to provide adequate time for DPH staff to validate new case data and ensure accuracy. They change will get information to the media faster as well, according to the agency.
In addition, over the next week, enhanced capability through DPH’s new surveillance database, will allow the State to begin providing additional data on key demographic information, such as race/ethnicity for positive cases and deaths, as well as age-adjusted incidence rates by ZIP code.