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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:
Jennifer Brestel
Email: DPHMedia@Delaware.gov

Date: January 7, 2022
DHSS-1-2022





WEEKLY COVID-19 UPDATE - JANUARY 7, 2022: WINTER SURGE CONTINUES; CURRENT HOSPITALIZATIONS CONTINUE TO RISE


DOVER, DE (Jan. 7, 2022) - 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 Thursday, Jan. 6, 2021. DPH reported the highest number of new positive daily cases since the start of the pandemic with 3,554 positive cases reported to the state Friday, Dec. 31, 2021. In addition, the total number of current COVID-19 hospitalizations surpassed the record high this week with 692 individuals hospitalized as of Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022.

Delaware is experiencing a surge in cases and hospitalizations. It is important that Delawareans take important steps to keep themselves and others safe.

COVID-19 Cases and Hospitalizations:

COVID-19 Vaccinations:

All qualifying Delawareans should get vaccinated. Individuals who qualify for a booster dose should get one as soon as possible. For the latest information on the COVID-19 vaccine in Delaware, visit de.gov/getmyvaccine.. For information on boosters, visit de.gov/boosters. Delaware's latest COVID-19 vaccination statistics can be found under the Vaccine Tracker dashboard at de.gov/healthycommunity.

Expanded COVID-19 Booster Eligibility:

DPH announced earlier this week that Delaware's vaccine providers can now begin administering booster doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to individuals ages 12 to 15 who completed their initial Pfizer vaccine series at least 5 months ago.

In addition, the FDA and CDC also shortened the booster interval from 6 months to 5 months for people who received either the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines. This means that anyone 12 and older can now receive an mRNA booster shot 5 months after completing their Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna primary series. The booster interval recommendation for people who received the J&J vaccine (2 months) has not changed. Individuals younger than 18 are only able to receive the Pfizer vaccine, and are not able to mix and match vaccine brands for their booster as those individuals 18 and older can do.

The FDA and CDC also moved to allow for moderately or severely immunocompromised 5- to 11-year-olds to receive an additional primary dose of vaccine 28 days after their second shot. At this time, only the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is authorized and recommended for children aged 5-11. Children in this age group who have undergone solid organ transplantation, or who have been diagnosed with conditions that are considered to have an equivalent level of immunocompromise, may not respond adequately to the two-dose primary vaccination series, and benefit from a third dose. The FDA previously authorized a third primary series dose for use as part of the primary immunization series in individuals 12 years and older. DPH encourages providers to use their clinical judgment and to consider additional factors for their patients when determining if the person meets the qualifications for immunocompromised status and is eligible for an additional/third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

COVID-19 Case Vaccination Status Report:

The following reports capture a weekly breakdown of vaccination status for cases, deaths, and hospitalizations for the time frame for Dec. 20 - Dec. 26 as well as Dec. 27 - Jan. 2.

Weekly Overview
(12/20 - 12/26)
# of Unvaccinated Cases
Total Unvaccinated / Partially Vaccinated 4315
Total Cases 6933
Percent of Unvaccinated / Partially Vaccinated 62%
Hospitalizations
# of Cases
Unvaccinated / Partially Vaccinated Hospitalized 124
Total Hospitalized 174
Percent of Unvaccinated / Partially Vaccinated Hospitalized 71%
Deaths
# of Cases
Unvaccinated / Partially Vaccinated Covid-19 Deaths 14
Total Covid-19 deaths 19
Percent of Unvaccinated / Partially Vaccinated Covid-19 Deaths 74%
Weekly Overview
(12/27 - 1/2)
# of Cases
Total Unvaccinated / Partially Vaccinated 9120
Total 16392
Percent of Unvaccinated / Partially Vaccinated 56%
Hospitalizations
# of Cases
Unvaccinated / Partially Vaccinated Hospitalized 180
Total Hospitalized 274
Percent of Unvaccinated / Partially Vaccinated Hospitalized 66%
Deaths
# of Cases
Unvaccinated / Partially Vaccinated Covid-19 Deaths 17
Total Covid-19 deaths 25
Percent of Unvaccinated / Partially Vaccinated Covid-19 Deaths 68%

Breakthrough Cases (cumulative since vaccinations began):

A breakthrough case is defined as testing positive for COVID-19 after an individual has been fully vaccinated for two weeks or more. *Please note, these data may be updated as additional information is received.

COVID-19 Variant Cases in Delaware:

Due to the length of time between sample collection (when a person is tested) and when samples are sequenced by laboratories, which can be lagged by two weeks or longer, DPH will begin providing variant data based on sample collection date rather than sequencing date. This will more accurately reflect the proportion of specific variants that are circulating in the community at various points in time.

Of the samples collected during the week of Dec. 20 - Dec. 26, the Omicron variant represented 78% of cases sequenced for a variant of concern, variant of interest, or variant being monitored. The remaining 22% of sequenced cases were identified as Delta.

The Delaware Public Health Laboratory and other laboratories regularly monitor for the presence of COVID-19 variants, including Delta and Omicron, through routine genomic sequencing of test specimens. Genome sequencing is a public health surveillance tool used to monitor the prevalence of COVID-19 variants; it is not used to diagnose individuals with a specific strain of COVID-19, as treatment recommendations do not differ based on variant strains. COVID-19 tests identify current infection of COVID-19, but do not identify a specific variant of the virus the individual might have.

Long-term Care Statistics:

As of Thursday, Jan. 6, there have been a total of 3,035 positive COVID-19 cases involving long-term care residents, and 879 residents of Delaware long-term care facilities have died from complications related to COVID-19.

Flu Update:

There were 80 laboratory-confirmed cases reported the week of Dec 26 - Jan. 1. As of Jan. 1, 2022, the most recent date for which flu statistics are available, there have been 550 laboratory-confirmed cases for the current season. The cases involved 388 individuals from New Castle County, 67 from Kent County and 95 from Sussex County. This number reflects only the number of lab-confirmed cases; the actual number of cases circulating statewide is likely higher as not all people with the flu seek treatment, and many cases are diagnosed through rapid test kits in a provider's office versus a lab.

All individuals 6 months and older are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated against the flu if they haven't already. Flu vaccines are available at pharmacies (including those in grocery stores), participating medical provider offices, Federally Qualified Health Centers (for their patients), as well as Division of Public Health clinics. DPH is also advising the public that the flu vaccine can be administered at the same time as the COVID-19 vaccine.

For the latest information on the flu in Delaware, visit flu.delaware.gov.

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:

Monday - Friday: 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Saturday: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

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

Delawareans 18 or older 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

Questions related to business re-openings or operations as businesses re-open should go to COVID19FAQ@delaware.gov. Questions regarding unemployment claims should be emailed to: UIClaims@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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