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Division of Public Health investigating COVID-19 outbreaks at Delaware long-term care facilities

Jeff Neiburg
Delaware News Journal

Division of Public Health officials are investigating coronavirus outbreaks at "several" Delaware long-term care facilities.

The positive cases are among both residents and staff members.

The investigation includes "significant" outbreaks at three Delaware facilities.

At Wilmington's Kentmere Rehabilitation and Health Care Center, 28 residents and 24 staff members have tested positive. At Cadia Healthcare Silverside in Talleyville, 19 residents and fewer than 10 staff members are among those recently infected. And at Country Rest Home in Greenwood, 18 residents and 14 staff members have tested positive.

The Kentmere Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center in Wilmington's Forty Acres.

The Division of Public Health said staff members may include health care and non-health care personnel, such as facility vendors or other individuals working in the facility who may not be full-time facility employees.

"While the source of exposure in these outbreaks is still under investigation, visitation activities do not appear to be contributing to the spread of illness as indoor visitation has not been implemented at any of the impacted facilities," health officials said in a press release. "In addition, availability of personal protective equipment also does not appear to be a driving factor in these outbreaks. The State routinely monitors PPE levels in these facilities, and no facility has recently requested a need for additional support."

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All facilities are required to screen staff members at the start of each shift, and all residents must be screened once per day, officials said.

The Division of Public Health said it is "actively working with impacted facilities to ensure infection control measures are in place" and "has provided recommendations to protect residents and staff, including testing guidance, isolation and quarantine recommendations, and patient and staff management strategies."

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Seven residents at Cadia's Silverside facility and two at Greenwood's Country Rest Home are among the 374 fatalities from the virus at Delaware long-term care facilities. Nearly 60% of Delaware's COVID-19 deaths were residents of such facilities.

Through Thursday, the rolling seven-day average of positive cases per day was 102.3. The percentage of people testing positive for the coronavirus was 6.7% over the same seven-day period, down from nearly 8% two weeks prior. Eleven of the 53 people hospitalized through Thursday were in critical condition.

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Contact Jeff Neiburg at jneiburg@delawareonline.com. Follow him on Twitter @Jeff_Neiburg.