Delaware approaches grim milestone in COVID-19 battle

Spc. Kim Whitbeck

Spc. Kim Whitbeck, a soldier with the Delaware Army National Guard, wears a face mask at the Food Bank of Delaware's drive-thru mobile pantry. (Capt. Brendan Mackie/U.S. Army National Guard)

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Delaware is fast approaching a grim milestone in the coronavirus crisis.

Since the first COVID-19 case was recorded in the state 10 months ago, a total of 991 people have died of virus-related causes, the Division of Public Health reported Tuesday. More than half were residents of nursing homes.

In comparison, the worst influenza season in the state’s history was 35 deaths – just 3.5% of the coronavirus toll.

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With new daily cases and hospitalizations surging to record levels over the last six weeks, the number of deaths has grown steadily. At the current rate of about four deaths daily, Delaware’s will reach the 1,000-death milestone Thursday.

The increasing loss of life and the ongoing community spread and suffering of patients was on the mind of Gov. John Carney during his weekly press briefing Tuesday.

“So we’re closing in on 1,000 total lives lost, every one a precious one,’’ Carney said.

“Almost 67,000 total cases since the first positive in early March. And as for the seriousness of the illness the results in somebody seeking hospital care, we’re up to a high point of 473.”

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