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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: November 18, 2022
DHSS-11-2022





MONTHLY COVID-19 UPDATE - NOVEMBER 18, 2022: COVID-19 REMAINS A RISK DURING HOLIDAY SEASON AS DOES FLU AND OTHER RESPIRATORY VIRUSES


DOVER, DE (Nov. 18, 2022) - The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) reports that the statewide 7-day average of new positive COVID-19 cases has decreased for the fourth consecutive month. Hospitalizations and deaths related to COVID-19 have remained low over the same time period. Average new positive cases are lowest in Kent County, with Sussex County only slightly higher. However, the 7-day average in New Castle County is almost three times that of Kent County and double the average for Sussex County. In general, the level of community spread remains low.

Testing and vaccination remain our best tools to prevent the spread of COVID-19 as we prepare to gather with friends and family this holiday season. At-home testing is fast, convenient and reliable, especially for those who are feeling sick. If you test negative but still have symptoms, consider taking a second test within the timeframe described in manufacturer's instructions. If the second test is still negative, contact your healthcare provider and consider you may have another respiratory virus like influenza (flu).

Don't let COVID-19 have a seat at your table this Thanksgiving. Delawareans should remain vigilant to protect their loved ones from COVID-19 by following these key prevention strategies.

It is important to remember eligible individuals can get either the Pfizer or Moderna updated bivalent booster, regardless of whether their primary series or most recent dose was with Pfizer, Moderna, Novavax or the Johnson & Johnson (J & J) vaccine. As per the CDC recommendations, the new bivalent booster replaces the existing monovalent vaccine booster, therefore that vaccine will no longer be authorized for use as a booster dose in people ages 5 and up. The bivalent booster is for those who completed their primary series, or previous boosters, two or more months ago.

The Novavax vaccine is also authorized as a monovalent booster dose for adults ages 18 and older, at least 6 months after completing primary vaccination with Pfizer, Moderna or Novovax, or two months after J&J who have NEVER received a previous booster. Adults may choose to receive a Novavax booster instead of an updated Pfizer or Moderna booster if they are allergic to mRNA vaccines, or they don't wish to get an mRNA vaccine. For more information on boosters, visit de.gov/boosters.

DPH encourages individuals to get their booster at the same time as they get their annual flu vaccine, either in the same arm at least one inch apart, or in different arms. As of Thursday, Nov. 17, 2022, a total of 598 influenza cases were reported for the week of Nov. 6 to Nov. 12, an increase from the prior week. This brings the total number of influenza cases for the season to 1,404. While cases are increasing, influenza-related hospitalizations remain low at 23 statewide for the current season.

As flu cases rise this season, only 26% of Delawareans have received their annual flu vaccine. The CDC encourages everyone 6 months older to get their annual flu vaccine by Thanksgiving. Flu vaccines and bivalent boosters are available at DPH clinics, many pharmacies, Federally Qualified Health Centers and some community events. You can find a list of locations for COVID vaccines at de.gov/getmyvaccine or at vaccines.gov. Locations for flu vaccines can be found on the flu finder on the flu.delaware.gov webpage. More details on the bivalent booster can be found at de.gov/boosters.

Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) is another respiratory virus of concern. Cases are beginning to decline, but remain relatively high. During the week of Nov. 6 to Nov. 12, there were 102 laboratory-confirmed cases of RSV reported among Delaware residents with 606 total cases for the 2022-2023 season.

The co-circulation of COVID-19, flu and RSV continues to be a concern for Delaware. The three viruses have contributed to a strain on the health care system, and DPH urges the public to practice prevention guidelines to help reduce the impact and allow hospitals to continue caring for those who are seriously ill. Though a vaccine does not yet exist for RSV, it's not too late to get critical protection from the flu if you not yet received a flu vaccine Close to half of the nearly 1,500 Delaware flu cases reported this season, occurred between Nov. 6 and Nov. 12. Getting the flu vaccine reduces the chance of getting sick. While it is still possible to get the flu even after you've been vaccinated, the vaccine reduces the severity of illness if you do get sick.

The below data is as reported on Delaware's My Healthy Community data portal on Thursday, Nov. 17, 2022.

COVID-19 Cases and Hospitalizations:

*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.

COVID-19 Vaccinations:

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 Oct 31 - Nov 6, 2022.

Weekly Overview
(10/31/22 - 11/06/22)
Not up-to-date Cases
Total Not up-to-date cases 828
Total Cases 911
Percent of Not up-to-date Cases 90%
Not up-to-date Hospitalized cases
Total Not up-to-date Hospitalized Cases 94
Total Hospitalized Cases 100
Percent of Not up-to-date Cases 94%
Not up-to-date Deaths # of Cases
Total Not up-to-date Deaths 1
Total COVID-19 Deaths 1
Percent of Non-boosted Deaths 100%

*Note: Case and Hospitalization Count: based on RTS (Report to State Date) Death: based on DoD (Date of Death)


Long-term Care Statistics:

As of Thursday, November 17, 2022, there have been a total of 4,837 positive COVID-19 cases involving long-term care residents, and 1000 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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