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DHSS Press Release

Molly Magarik, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Cell 302-357-7498

Date: December 24, 2020

Reporter/Editor Note: Due to the Christmas holiday on Friday, DPH is releasing its weekly COVID-19 update today, Thursday, Dec. 24, instead of Friday this week. Data presented in the release is as of Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2020.


DOVER (Dec. 24, 2020) - The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) is providing an update on the most recent statistics related to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Delaware, as of 6 p.m. Wednesday, December 23, 2020.

A total of 53,015 positive cases of COVID-19 among Delaware residents have been reported to DPH since March 11, 2020. The number of new daily cases this week has remained elevated with a seven-day average of 613.7 as of Wednesday, Dec. 23.

The seven-day average for the percentage of persons who tested positive for COVID-19 as of Wednesday, Dec. 23 was 22.4%, which was the same percentage as of Wednesday, Dec. 16. DPH publishes both positivity rates - persons tested and total tests conducted - on its COVID-19 data portal. As of Monday, Dec. 21, the seven-day average for the percentage of total tests that were positive was 9.6%, a slight increase from 9.5% as of Monday, Dec. 14. There is a two-day lag for presenting data related to percent of tests that are positive to account for the time delay between the date of the test and the date that DPH receives the test result.

In addition, 426 individuals are currently hospitalized due to COVID-19 in Delaware, an increase of 19 from the total as of last Friday's update. Current hospitalization totals rose to 454 earlier this week before declining again toward the end of the week. Sixty of the hospitalized persons are critically ill, down eight from last week.

A total of 888 Delawareans have passed away due to complications from COVID-19. The state reported 34 additional deaths since last week's update, including four as a result of a review of Vital Statistics records. The total number of individuals who have died from COVID-19 ranges in age from 21 to 104 years old. Of those who have died, 453 were female and 435 were male. A total of 441 individuals were from New Castle County, 158 were from Kent County, and 289 were from Sussex County.

To protect personal health information, DPH will not confirm specific information about any individual case, even if other persons or entities disclose it independently. Additional data can be found at

Additional Updates:

Total doses of COVID-19 Vaccines Administered in Delaware: As of 8:00 a.m., Thursday morning, Dec. 24, Delaware has administered 6,569 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

As health experts continue to learn how the COVID-19 vaccine works under real-world conditions, everyone will need to continue to practice precautions such as wearing a mask over the mouth and nose, social distancing, frequent handwashing, and other hygiene measures to help reduce spread of the disease in the community. The combination of getting vaccinated and following recommendations to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from COVID-19.

As a reminder, DPH has set up a Vaccine Call Center, which can now be reached at 1-833-643-1715. People who are deaf and hard of hearing should call 2-1-1 or text their ZIP code to 898-211. Individuals can email their questions concerning the vaccine to and visit for more information. The call center will be closed on Christmas Day, Dec. 25, 2020, and New Year's Day, Jan. 1, 2021.

Update on COVID-19 Outbreaks in Long-term Care Facilities: The Division of Public Health continues to investigate COVID-19 outbreaks in long-term care facilities throughout the state. The following facilities have experienced significant outbreaks since late September. Resident and staff tallies represent cumulative case totals between Sept. 25, 2020, and Dec. 23, 2020, and may not represent the number of active cases at each facility at this particular point in time:

*Staff members may include health care and non-health care personnel, such as facility vendors or other individuals working in the long-term care facility who may not be full-time facility employees. Facilities listed represent those that have had a cumulative total of more than 10 cases among residents and more than 10 cases among staff to date since the beginning of the outbreak monitoring period, Sept. 25, 2020. As facility outbreak investigations close, they will be removed from this list.

Long-term Care Statistics:

Information related to positive cases and deaths among residents at long-term care facilities will be updated weekly each Friday, using information reported as of 6 p.m. Thursday. There have been a total of 1,857 positive COVID-19 cases cumulatively involving long-term care residents, and 480 residents of Delaware long-term care facilities have died from complications related to COVID-19.

The locations and number of deaths involving residents of long-term care facilities are:

Aggregate K-12 School-Related COVID-19 Statistics:

The Division of Public Health is providing statewide aggregate data on the total number of COVID-19 positive cases among students and staff who were in-person at a school or child care facility while potentially infectious, reported to DPH since Sept. 1, 2020. To determine the start of the infectious period, or when others may have been exposed to someone infectious, DPH looks 48 hours prior to the onset of symptoms or 48 hours prior to testing for those individuals who had no symptoms. These data only indicate potential exposure to COVID-19 in these settings, not whether exposure actually occurred. Please note, these figures do not indicate that the infections were caused from being in the school setting.

Total number of COVID-19 positive students and staff, statewide, who were in-person at a school or child care facility while potentially infectious, reported to DPH between Sept. 1, 2020, and Dec. 23, 2020**:

Weekly Total, 12/17/20-12/23/20 Cumulative Total, 9/1/20-12/23/20
Setting Staff Cases Student Cases Staff Cases Student Cases
Child Care facility 13 10 164 146
Private K-12 12 17 106 218
Public K-12 26 17 404 319

**Data is preliminary and subject to change.

If you are sick with any of the following symptoms, stay home: fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, muscle aches, fatigue, chills, shaking with chills, loss of smell or taste, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, or headache or congestion or runny nose without a known cause such as allergies. Other symptoms such as abdominal pain or lack of appetite have been identified as potential symptoms related to COVID-19 and may prompt further screening, action or investigation by a primary care provider. If you are sick and need essential supplies, ask someone else to go to the grocery store or the pharmacy to get what you need.

DPH reminds Delawareans that if you believe you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, or have symptoms of illness, make sure to distance yourself from others, particularly vulnerable populations. Older adults and people of any age with serious underlying medical conditions - including serious heart conditions, chronic lung conditions, including moderate to severe asthma, severe obesity and those who are immunocompromised, including through cancer treatment - may have a higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

Information about testing events, including community testing sites and free-standing sites operated by the health care systems and hospitals, will be listed on the testing section of the Delaware coronavirus website at:

Delawareans over the age of 18 are encouraged to download COVID Alert DE, Delaware's free exposure notification app to help protect your neighbors while ensuring your privacy. Download on the App Store or Google Play.

Individuals with general questions about COVID-19 should call Delaware 2-1-1, individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing can text their ZIP code to 898-211, or email Hours of operation are 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Medically related questions regarding testing, symptoms, and health-related guidance can be submitted by email at Questions regarding unemployment claims should be emailed to:

DPH will continue to update the public as more information becomes available. For the latest on Delaware's response, go to

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.