Del. coronavirus recovery: William Penn graduation will run all day Wednesday

William Penn High School, New Castle Del. (Google Maps)

William Penn High School, New Castle Del. (Google Maps)

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Delaware added 45 more cases of the coronavirus on Monday, bringing the total number of COVID-19 cases to 10,820.

The number of hospitalizations jumped by 10 on Monday after holding steady in the mid-to-upper 70s for the past five days. There are now 89 people being treated in Delaware hospitals for COVID-19. That’s still well below the 157 patients hospitalized as of June 1. As of Sunday afternoon, just 15 patients were considered critically ill.

Teens, young adults should get tested once a month

Young people living together this summer should get tested for COVID-19 at least once a month, according to new guidance from the state Division of Public Health.

“The risk of COVID-19 spread among other young people, of different households, living in group settings without social distancing or wearing face coverings is real, and we will have no way of tracing all of the individuals they may have exposed because they likely don’t know everyone’s names,” said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. “Just because we are reopening, does not mean the virus is gone. It does not mean the risk is gone.  It does not mean things are back to normal.”

The warning comes after three teens who stayed at a rented house in Dewey Beach tested positive for the virus. More than a dozen teens were staying there at the time. The health department says that while the teens were there, they attended large parties in nearby Rehoboth that may have exposed more than 100 partygoers to the virus.

“This incident underscores the importance of wearing face coverings and social distancing,” said DPH Medical Director Dr. Rick Hong. “It’s critically important for people to remember — the more interactions people have with each other, especially when not social distancing and wearing a face covering, the higher the risk of infection.”

Rattay says anyone who starts experiencing symptoms including fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, muscle aches, fatigue, chills, shaking with chills, loss of smell or taste, should get tested immediately.

William Penn graduates get daylong graduation ceremony

William Penn High School graduates will be able to receive their diplomas at an in-person ceremony planned for Wednesday at the school in New Castle. The catch is, it will take all day.

Students will walk across a makeshift stage set up in front of the school and have their picture taken as they collect the diploma. The photos will be given to students as a gift from the Colonial School Board.

“While we know this isn’t the graduation ceremony anyone envisioned before COVID-19, we hope that the culmination exercises for the Class of 2020 will be a memorable time of recognition and celebrations,” said Principal Lisa Brewington.

Students with last names from A to K will be called between 9 a.m. and noon. Students with a last name starting with L to Z will be honored from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. School officials say social distancing will be practiced and only one family vehicle per graduate will be allowed on school property.

William Penn held a virtual graduation ceremony earlier this month that can still be viewed on the Colonial School District website.

Holiday food drive moves up for COVID-19 relief

Every November DART public transit collects non-perishable food, hoping to fill a bus full of items to donate to the Food Bank of Delaware to help feed the hungry. This year, DART is holding a “Stuff the Bus” food drive early to provide food for those struggling to make ends meet due to the coronavirus.

Delaware food bank
Volunteers are in high demand at Delaware’s food banks amid the coronavirus pandemic. (DelDHSS)

This week, DART will be collecting food at the following locations:

  • Monday, June 22: Safeway, 19283 Coastal Highway, Rehoboth, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Tuesday, June 23: Safeway, 190 John Hunn Brown Road, Dover, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Wednesday, June 24: ShopRite of Four Seasons, 700 Plaza Drive, Newark, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Thursday, June 25: ShopRite, 1300 Rocky Run Parkway, Wilmington, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Friday, June 26: ShopRite, 1600 W. Newport Pike, Stanton, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Most needed items include cereal, oatmeal, peanut butter, canned tuna, canned chicken, rice, pasta, spaghetti sauce and granola bars.

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