Heat claims third victim in Delaware

Although the most recent heat wave has finally broken, the scorching temperatures are to blame for the death of a 95-year-old New Castle County woman.

The medical examiner’s office confirmed the Newark resident as Delaware’s third heat-related death this year. The state said she was found in her home on Sunday and pronounced dead.

“The unfortunate deaths of these three individuals show the danger of heat exposure, especially for people with underlying medical conditions and our seniors,” said Secretary of the Department of Health and Social Services Rita Landgraf. “During a weather emergency, please take the time to check in on a neighbor, a friend or a loved one to make sure they are OK.”

Last week’s heat contributed to the deaths of a 55-year-old New Castle County man and an 87-year-old New Castle County woman.

“For Delawareans who are concerned about their ability to endure extreme temperatures and humidity levels, we ask that they call the Delaware Helpline at 211 to be connected to community resources,” Landgraf said.

In extreme heat, the elderly and the very young are the most vulnerable.

Throughout the state, there are a number of programs designed to offset air conditioning costs or provide fans. DHSS’ Division of State Service Centers offers a Summer Cooling Assistance Program in the summer months. In New Castle County, Interfaith Community Housing of Delaware provides fans. In Kent and Sussex Counties, the state’s Adopt-A-Family program also provides household fans.

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