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DHSS Press Release



Molly Magarik, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Cell 302-357-7498
Email: Jill.Fredel@delaware.gov

DPH Media Contact:
Tim Turane
Email: DPHMedia@Delaware.gov

Date: August 22, 2022
DHSS-8-2022





MONTHLY COVID-19 UPDATE AUGUST 19, 2022:
COVID-19 CASES DECLINE IN LAST MONTH; DPH SHARES SUMMARY OF MOST RECENT CDC UPDATES


DOVER, DE (Aug. 19, 2022) - The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) reports that the 7-day average of new positive COVID-19 cases has declined since the previous monthly update in July. However, COVID-19 is still circulating in the community, and at higher levels in some counties. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) COVID-19 Community Levels data tracker, which was last updated on August 11, case levels in Kent and Sussex counties are considered high, while case levels in New Castle County are listed as medium.

Additionally, the CDC has updated its COVID-19 guidelines related to isolation and quarantine. Delaware public health officials have met with community leaders to discuss the changes and considered the concerns of the community as public health adjusts to the new guidelines presented by the CDC.

The CDC indicated its updates were a result of information learned as the pandemic has evolved. The agency indicates that several factors have led to increased levels of overall protection against the virus, including high levels of vaccination (the majority of Americans have at least one dose of the vaccines), as well as infection-induced immunity, the availability of COVID treatments and prevention tools such as masking.

There were no changes to guidelines regarding isolation (staying home for five days if you test positive for COVID), except to offer an early end to masking during the second five days after leaving isolation. If you wish to end mask use early (essentially on day 8), then you will need to take two antigen tests, 48 hours apart, with the first test being on day 6. If both tests come back negative, you can discontinue masking on day 8. If either test comes back positive, continue masking.

If you are a close contact of someone with COVID-19, you must mask for 10 days regardless of vaccination status as it can take up to 10 days after exposure to become positive for COVID-19, but you are no longer asked to quarantine (stay home) if you are not up-to-date with vaccines. The updated guidance also places additional emphasis on improving ventilation in indoor spaces.

Delaware-specific data, comparing the January 2022 surge, to now, supports the rationale leading to the updated guidance. At its peak on January 11, DPH reported a 7-day daily average of 3,339.4 new positive cases. Today, DPH reports a 7-day daily average of 279.4 COVID-19 cases. Delawareans are urged to continue safe practices such as masking in crowded indoor spaces, isolating themselves when feeling sick, getting vaccinated, testing, and following the CDC's guidelines if you have a positive test result.

The below data is as reported on Delaware's My Health Community data portal on Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022.

*Case and testing data are based on reporting of lab-confirmed COVID-19 tests only. The number of COVID-19 cases in the community is higher than what is reported because of the use of at-home test kits.

Vaccine Updates

The Novavax vaccine is now available in Delaware, including at DPH clinics. In July, the FDA issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for Novavax. It is considered a protein subunit vaccine type, and is similar to currently approved vaccines for Hepatitis B and whooping cough (pertussis). Novavax is recommended for people 18 years and older, and is offered in a two-dose series, given at least three weeks apart. It is not yet recommended as a booster, or recommended to mix and match with other vaccines. To find a Novavax vaccine, visit vaccines.gov and search for Novavax.

While like the flu vaccine, COVID-19 vaccines may not prevent all infection, they still prevent some and are primarily responsible for preventing hospitalizations and deaths. Both hospitalizations and deaths are significantly lower than in the beginning of the pandemic, prior to vaccine availability. The latest information from the CDC indicates that a bivalent booster, designed to protect against both the original strain of COVID-19 and Omicron-specific variant strains, may be available by mid-September. Current information, which is subject to change, is that this is a booster that will only be available to those who have completed their primary series. Initially, it is also not believed to be authorized for use in children under age 12. DPH encourages individuals who have not completed their primary series (gotten both doses of a two-dose vaccine) to do so now, and for parents who may have been waiting, to vaccinate their children using the currently available vaccine options. DPH has begun reaching out to enrolled vaccine providers to place pre-orders for the vaccine so they are ready for shipment once the FDA issues an EUA for the bivalent booster.

Here is the latest COVID-19 vaccine data for Delaware, as of Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022.

COVID-19 Vaccinations:

  • Total number of doses administered in Delaware: 1,882,646
  • Percentage of Delawareans 5+ who are fully vaccinated (CDC data): 74.8%
  • Percentage of Delawareans 12+ who are fully vaccinated (CDC data): 79%
  • Percentage of Delawareans 18+ who are fully vaccinated (CDC data): 80.5%
  • Percent of Delawareans who are fully vaccinated (CDC data): 70.7%
  • All qualifying Delawareans should get vaccinated. For a location near you, visit de.gov/getmyvaccine.. Delaware's latest COVID-19 vaccination statistics can be found under the Vaccine Tracker dashboard at de.gov/healtycommunity

    COVID-19 Case Vaccination Status Report:

    The following reports capture a weekly breakdown of non-boosted cases, deaths, and hospitalizations for the time frame of Aug 8 - Aug 14, 2022.

    Weekly Overview
    (08/08/22 - 08/14/22)
    # of Non-boosted Cases
    Total Non-boosted 1384
    Total Cases 2068
    Percent of Non-boosted Cases 67%
    Non-boosted Hospitalized cases # of Cases
    Total Non-boosted Hospitalized Cases 147
    Total Hospitalized Cases 205
    Percent of Non-boosted Cases 71%
    Non-boosted Deaths # of Cases
    Total Non-boosted Deaths 0
    Total COVID-19 Deaths 0
    Percent of Non-boosted Deaths 0%

    Long-term Care Statistics:

    As of Thursday, July 14, 2022, there have been a total of 4,359 positive COVID-19 cases involving long-term care residents, and 971 residents of Delaware long-term care facilities have died from complications related to COVID-19.

    Resources:

    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 delaware211@uwde.org. Hours of operation are:

    Medically related questions regarding testing, symptoms, and health-related guidance can be submitted by email at DPHCall@delaware.gov.

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

    Anyone who is deaf, hard of hearing, Deaf-Blind or speech disabled can contact DPH by dialing 711 first using specialized devices (i.e. TTY, TeleBraille, voice devices). The 711 service is free and to learn more about how it works, please visit delawarerelay.com.

    DPH, a division of DHSS, urges Delawareans to make healthier choices with the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day, have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, gaming), get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day, and drink almost no sugary beverages.



    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.





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