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Coronavirus Daily Briefing News

COVID-19 Daily Briefing 5/11



May 11

DPH updates COVID-19 numbers for Monday, May 11

Over the weekend the Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) announced 454 new positive cases have been confirmed and that 12 more Delawareans — 225 in all — have passed away due to complications from COVID-19. The deceased range in age from 26 to 103 years old.

As of May 11, the state’s COVID-19 case statistics cumulatively since March 11 include 6,565 total laboratory-confirmed cases — 2,390 of them in New Castle County, 1,044 in Kent County and 3,091 in Sussex County. The state said preliminary data based on reporting by state and commercial laboratories, indicate there have been 25,363 negative cases.

There are 275 Delawareans who are currently hospitalized. To date, 2,619 Delawareans who have tested positive have recovered.

 Delaware farmers’ markets to open under new COVID-19 protocols

The Delaware Department of Agriculture, DDA, is issuing protocols to help farmers’ markets safely begin opening May 15.

“We want to make sure that opening the farmers’ markets in Delaware is done in a way that maximizes the safety of market staff, family farmers, and the customers who are looking to purchase produce, specialty crops, and other value-added food items,” said Secretary of Agriculture Michael  Scuse in a statement. “We know a lot more about COVID-19 now and the steps we all need to take to prevent the spread of this disease. Farmers’ markets will not be the same social experience as they were prior to COVID-19, but we hope that Delawareans will utilize the markets as a place to purchase locally produced food.”

The protocols issued by DDA will be in place until further notice and are solely intended to allow farmers to sell produce, specialty crops, and other value-added food items that have been directly grown or raised on a farm or prepared in a permitted on-farm kitchen or cottage-food kitchen.

To create a safer environment for all involved in farmers’ markets, they will no longer be considered a social venue. This means there will be no social gatherings, no entertainment shows or activities, no food trucks or prepared food for consumption on site, no on-site food preparation or sampling, no demonstrations, and no pets allowed, except for service animals.

Depending on the farmers’ market, they may operate a walk-through market or a drive-through market. All customers will be required to wear face coverings, or they will be denied entrance. A maximum of two people per household will be allowed to enter the market to shop. Upon arrival, customers will check in at the entrance with market staff. If the market is at capacity, the customer will be given instructions on how they will be notified when they can go into shop.

Progress through the farmers’ market will only be in one direction. All market attendees will be required to enter through a specific entrance and will all leave out a designated exit, there will be no doubling back to shop at a vendor. Market staff, vendors, and customers will need to social distance, maintaining six feet distance from all others while inside the market area. In order to reduce shopping time, vendors will not have their product available where people can touch or handle product. Customers will need to request items that they want to purchase, and the farmer will package for purchase.

Rite Aid Opens Free Drive-Thru COVID-19 Testing Site

Free COVID-19 tests are now being offered at four Rite Aid locations across the state.  Tests are available by appointment at 200 Pharmacy Drive in Smyrna, 1999 Pulaski Highway in Bear, 24892 John Williams Hwy. in Millsboro and 3801 N. Market Street in Wilmington.

The tests are being conducted as a drive up service in the pharmacy’s parking lot. The Rite Aid tests utilize self-swab nasal tests overseen by Rite Aid pharmacists. Results are available between two and seven days. Rite Aid says they can perform approximately 400 tests a day. Testing hours are 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., seven days a week.

Complete a pre-screening questionnaire and schedule an appointment, here.

COVID-19 “Test-Trace-Treat” message is shared with help from Energize Delaware

The Lights-On Delaware Strong campaign, a neighborhood public safety and energy efficiency lighting initiative is contacting over 2,600 previous Lights-On clients in low-income communities to inform and educate them about the importance of getting tested for COVID-19 and providing information on health resources near them.

Residents of vulnerable communities in Georgetown, Seaford, Milford, Laurel, Dover and Wilmington that have been clients of the Lights On program since 2017 are receiving a scripted telephone call containing information on the importance of being proactive in getting tested for the COVID-19 virus.

Based on the previous trust relationship that Lights-On staff have had with their clients the vital information is being well received.

A comprehensive call log is being developed for each community that will collate whether the call was answered, a message was left, a call back was needed, if the information was successfully shared, and if there were any other related comments.  Once collected the call logs will be shared in the form of a Findings Report with Delaware Health officials.

Energize Delaware is a unique non-profit organization offering a one-stop resource to help residents and businesses save money through clean energy and efficiency. Our myriad programs provide energy education and financial incentives to Delaware homeowners, businesses, non-profits, state agencies, farms, houses of worship, local governments and schools. Find a program to fit your needs at EnergizeDelaware.org

Governor Carney Signs Sixteenth Modification to State of Emergency

Governor John Carney on Sunday signed the sixteenth modification to his State of Emergency declaration, suspending end-of-year evaluations for educators, professional development requirements and assessments due to the suspension of the school year caused by COVID-19.

Governor Carney’s latest modification holds Delaware’s students and educators harmless for the shortened school year, also waiving the required learning hours for students and teacher days. School districts and charter schools must still complete remote learning plans submitted to the Delaware Department of Education.

Short Order Production House unveils new series to support Food Bank

Short Order Production House will debut two new series this week, both freely distributed online but accompanied by an ask for listeners and viewers to support the Food Bank of Delaware.

In The Pantry is a cooking show where professional chefs offer ideas and recipes for people trying to eat healthy and well with the ingredients and equipment they have at hand. As directed by Creative Director Mauro Giuffrida, the chefs will take on challenges sent in by viewers and film themselves cooking in their own home kitchens.

The first three episodes feature Robbie Jester (Stone Balloon Ale House, Limestone BBQ and Bourbon and Full Circle Food) cooking up restaurant-style burgers , sisters Angie and Rous Robles (My Sister’s Fault) baking a healthy(ish) chocolate cake, and married couple Nate Farrar and Elaina Leshock (Bellefonte Cafe) making vegan quesadillas.

“In the past two months, people suddenly have had to rely more on their own cooking skills,” Mauro said. “In The Pantry offers a way to connect with professional chefs who are willing to give advice and help solve some culinary issues at home.”

The Other Side is a weekly podcast about people and businesses who are adapting, innovating and sometimes just surviving during this time of disruption and social distancing. Hosted by Matt Sullivan, produced by Alexander Newman, and sound mixed by Josh Johnson, the podcast seeks to navigate the unknowns and offer a glimpse of what might be waiting for us on the other side of the COVID-19 pandemic. Episodes are now available on Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Google Play, Spotify, and many other podcast players.

Debut episodes of The Other Side feature interviews with Sasha Aber , owner of Home Grown Cafe who found herself on vacation in Iceland at the beginning of the pandemic, and Joe Trainor , the Wilmington musician who has hundreds of people voting on their favorite bands and songs after organizing online bracket competitions far larger than March Madness.

Both projects feature messages encouraging people to donate time or money to the Food Bank of Delaware, an organization that has been leading the way to fight food insecurity since the first days of the state of emergency in Delaware.

YMCA continues food distribution efforts 

The YMCA of Delaware is distributing food at multiple sites throughout the state.  Community members will be able to pick up boxes of pre-packaged non-refrigerated/non-perishable food staples.

They are working with the Food Bank of Delaware to add distribution dates and locations. Please check back frequently for updates. Distribution will be from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m., or until supplies are depleted. 

  • Wednesday, May 13 – Brandywine YMCA
  • Wednesday, May 13 – Western YMCA
  • Thursday, May 14 – Central YMCA
  • Thursday, May 14 – Bear YMCA
  • Thursday, May 14 – Dover YMCA
  • Tuesday, May 19 – Sussex YMCA
  • Thursday, May 21 – Middletown YMCA

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