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COVID-19 Daily Briefing 5/26

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

May 26

DPH updates COVID-19 numbers for Tuesday, May 26

Over the holiday weekend, the Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) announced 537 new positive cases have been confirmed and that 13 more Delawareans — 335 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 26, the state’s COVID-19 case statistics cumulatively since March 11 include 9,066 total laboratory-confirmed cases — 3,508 of them in New Castle County, 1,368 in Kent County and 4,132 in Sussex County. The state said preliminary data based on reporting by state and commercial laboratories, indicate there have been 45,848 negative cases.

There are 201 Delawareans who are currently hospitalized. To date, 4,802 Delawareans who have tested positive have recovered.

Sen. Coons voices support of $9M award to Newark-based NIIMBL

Last week, the Department of Commerce announced its intent to award $9 million in funding to the National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals, or NIIMBL, headquartered in Newark.  This additional funding will help Delaware-based teams expand testing and diagnostic capabilities, address supply chain vulnerabilities, and improve vaccine manufacturing capacity.

Kelvin Lee
NIIMBL Director

“The scary truth is that the United States is currently not ready to mass produce a vaccine for COVID-19, even once we’ve developed one, and that’s a problem we need to fix right away,” said Senator Coons in a statement.  “We need to expand our vaccine manufacturing capacity here in the United States dramatically, and we need to do it now. I’m thrilled that Delaware scientists and engineers at NIIMBL will be leading that effort.”

“Never in our lifetime have we experienced a global crisis of this magnitude. It presents a massive challenge but also an opportunity — one that I deeply believe we are positioned to help meet,” said NIIMBL Director Kelvin Lee. “Manufacturing USA institutes and their member organizations, and indeed all U.S. manufacturers, are extraordinarily capable and eager. We have the ingenuity, grit and expertise to find new ways to produce what we need to regain America’s health, build the critical manufacturing supply chain, and strengthen our ability to respond swiftly and effectively to future challenges. These awards from NIST are a step in the right direction for us to do just that.”

Governor Carney Announces Lifting of Short-Term Rental Ban, Out-of-State Quarantine on June 1

Governor John Carney announced today that the ban on short-term rental units and the mandatory 14-day quarantine for out-of-state travelers will be lifted in Phase 1.

Phase 1 of Delaware’s economic reopening is scheduled to begin on June 1, allowing retail establishments, restaurants and other businesses to open at 30 percent of fire capacity with social distancing measures in place.

“We want visitors to enjoy Delaware, our world-class beaches and restaurants, but it’s important that everyone remember that COVID-19 is still very much active in Delaware,” said Governor Carney in a statement. “Delawareans who visited our beaches this past weekend acted responsibly, taking basic precautions to protect their families and their neighbors. Thank you. We all need to continue taking steps to protect our most vulnerable. Those steps aren’t complicated. Wash your hands frequently. Maintain distance between yourself and others. Wear a face covering when you’re in a public setting. Don’t let up.”

Governor Carney also announced that, with basic public health precautions in place, outdoor gatherings of up to 250 people will be permitted beginning June 1. Cloth face coverings must be worn in accordance with Governor Carney’s State of Emergency declaration, and individuals must maintain social distance of at least six feet from anyone outside of their household.

Gatherings over 250 individuals are not permitted during Phase 1. However, organizers of planned outdoor large gatherings and events may apply to host a large gathering or event by submitting a plan to the Delaware Division of Small Business at least seven days prior to the event.

In conjunction with the easing of certain business, travel and gathering restrictions, Governor Carney will lift Delaware’s stay-at-home order effective June 1, but he cautioned that Delawareans should continue to avoid unnecessary outings and gatherings to limit community spread of COVID-19.

“We are where we are because Delawareans listened and stayed home,” said Governor Carney. “While we are slowly reopening our economy, it’s critical that Delawareans not rush out and undo all the hard work they’ve done to get us to this point. Let’s continue to be cautious and responsible as we ease our way into this new normal.”

Beebe Healthcare Enters COVID-19 Recovery Phase; Will Reactivate Elective Surgeries June 1

Dr. David Tam, MD, President and CEO of Beebe Healthcare, announced that due to everyone’s efforts to “flatten the curve,” Beebe will be reactivating elective surgeries and other procedures on June 1.

Beebe is already working with surgeons, specialists and other physicians to schedule these patients as quickly as possible, and has developed a phased approach for these procedures that helps ensure the safety of both patients and team members.

Patients who are waiting to reschedule their postponed surgery, imaging or lab appointment will receive a call either from their provider or from Beebe’s scheduling team over the next several weeks to schedule those appointments. Patients with questions about their individual circumstance are encouraged to call their healthcare provider’s office.

Aquacare Physical Therapy opening new Milford Wellness Village location

Medical providers can resume elective surgeries that were placed on hold during the pandemic amid the state’s Phase I plan to re-open next week.

“We made the decision to open our site at the Milford Wellness Village in response to requests from the community to offer our specialty programs including aquatic therapy, Parkinson’s LSVT therapy, vestibular rehabilitation, and pelvic floor therapy,” said CEO of Aquacare, Cara Konlian.

The facility has been treating patients under a limited capacity following all CDC guidelines. Aquacare Physical Therapy provides orthopedic, sports, physical and specialized therapy services such as pelvic, spine, hand and aquatic care.

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