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COVID-19 Daily Briefing 5/20

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Stay in-the-know with a collection of COVID-19 related news briefs from across our communities. 

May 20

DPH updates COVID-19 numbers for Wednesday, May 20

The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) announced 157 new positive cases have been confirmed and that 6 more Delawareans — 310 in all — have passed away due to complications from COVID-19. The deceased range in age from 21 to 103 years old.

As of May 20, the state’s COVID-19 case statistics cumulatively since March 11 include 8,194 total laboratory-confirmed cases — 2,933 of them in New Castle County, 1,253 in Kent County and 3,960 in Sussex County. The state said preliminary data based on reporting by state and commercial laboratories, indicate there have been 37,218 negative cases.

There are 220 Delawareans who are currently hospitalized, with 35 in critical condition. To date, 3,965 Delawareans who have tested positive have recovered.

Delaware Immigrant Fund to provide assistance to undocumented Delawareans

The grassroots Safe Communities Coalition is announcing the launch of the Delaware Immigrant Fund to support undocumented Delawareans during the coronavirus crisis, by providing direct cash assistance to immigrants affected by the pandemic but are excluded from federal and state relief programs.

In just a few days, the fund has received $12,567 in donations from 99 donors.

The Delaware Immigrant Fund will begin reviewing applications from vulnerable undocumented Delawareans on Friday and will make mini-grant awards ranging from $100 to $1,000 to support basic needs, and will prioritize applications from Sussex County during its first funding rounds.

The fund is being coordinated pro bono by a committee of grassroots leaders with proven expertise, track record, and established trust with undocumented families.

You can learn more about the Delaware Immigrant Fund here.

Highmark extends coverage of COVID-19 treatment and telemedicine

Highmark has announced that customers requiring in-network, inpatient hospital care for COVID-19 will not have to pay cost-sharing; deductibles, coinsurance and copays, through Sept. 30, an extension from their earlier date of May 31.

Self-funded employer groups for which Highmark administers benefits may, however, opt-out of this waiver.

In March, Highmark also made the decision to expand coverage of telehealth and to waive deductibles, coinsurance and copayments on all covered telehealth services from vendors and providers. These services and payment deferral are also extended through Sept. 30.

Highmark contributes 2,500 face coverings to Del. EMS during National EMS Week

Highmark Inc. is extending its gratitude to first responders during National EMS Week by donating nearly 40,000 cloth face coverings to help mitigate the spread of the coronavirus and preserve valuable PPE for direct patient care.

“Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware was able to provide 2,500 face coverings for EMS personnel throughout the state,” said Nick Moriello, President of Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware. “We are thankful for the work they do and the risks that they face.  This is just a small way for us to show our appreciation.”

The face coverings are intended to be worn in situations where an EMS provider may not be interacting with a patient or is off-duty.

Matt’s Fish Camp and ThinkSecureNet provide lunch for DSP Troop 7

Matt’s Fish Camp, part of the SoDel Concepts hospitality group, and ThinkSecureNet recently teamed up to bring lunch to Delaware State Police Troop 7 in Lewes.

“Troop 7 has been hard at work during the state of emergency, and they will continue to do so as the beaches reopen,” said Emily Voshell of ThinkSecureNet of Lewes.

“We know that SoDel Concepts has been doing a lot to help the community during these difficult times, and as a thank you to SoDel and Troop 7, we wanted to purchase lunch for the police staff,” Voshell continued. “We want to commend SoDel Concepts and its team for their amazing efforts.”

ThinkSecureNet founder Jack Berberian has helped raise funds for hospital medical supplies and offered free help desk services for first responders and their families.

ThinkSecureNet has also covered the cost of rooms for first responders, troopers, firefighters and nurses and ensured that food and other items — as well as hotel accommodations — are available for the health care staff if needed.

Delaware issues guidance to help u-pick farms open for the season

The Delaware Department of Agriculture  issued guidance to help local ‘U-pick’ farms safely open

Late spring through the fall is a time when Delaware’s farm operations open to allow residents and visitors to pick their own strawberries, blueberries, peaches, apples, pumpkins, live Christmas trees and more.

All customers 13 years and older are required to wear face coverings or they will be denied entry. Face coverings are recommended for children ages 2-12 visiting the farm with their families. Anyone coming to the farm to pick produce will be required to sanitize their hands before and after going into the field. Picking containers from home will not be permitted.

May 19 

Multi-system Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) potentially linked to COVID-19

The Delaware Division of Public Health is issuing a health advisory to ensure providers are aware of MIS-C potentially association with COVID-19, and to provide guidance on reporting of cases to DPH and testing of patients who present with this disease.

As of May 12, 2020, Delaware has reportedly identified three cases.

If there is a strong clinical suspicion of MIS-C call 1- 888-295-5156 to consult with the DPH Office of Infectious Disease, or report through reportdisease@delaware.gov.

This syndrome has features which overlap with Kawasaki Disease and Toxic Shock Syndrome. Inflammatory markers may be elevated, and fever and abdominal symptoms may be prominent. Rash also may be present. Myocarditis and other cardiovascular changes may be seen.


  • An individual aged < 21 years presenting with fever1, laboratory evidence of inflammation2, and evidence of clinically severe illness requiring hospitalization, with multisystem (>2) organ involvement (cardiac, renal, respiratory, hematologic, gastrointestinal, dermatologic or neurological);
  • No alternative plausible diagnoses;
  • Positive for current or recent SARS-CoV-2 infection by RT-PCR, serology, or antigen test; or COVID-19 exposure within the four (4) weeks prior to the onset of symptoms1 Fever >38.0°C for ≥24 hours, or report of subjective fever lasting ≥24 hours2 Including, but not limited to, one or more of the following: an elevated C-reactive protein (CRP), erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), fibrinogen, procalcitonin, d-dimer, ferritin, lactic acid dehydrogenase (LDH), or interleukin 6 (IL-6), elevated neutrophils, reduced lymphocytes and low albumin

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