COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to climb, breaking new record for second time this week

Signs point to separate COVID-19 testing and COVID-19 vaccination events Thursday, April 1, 2021, at the Modern Maturity Center in Dover.

One day after Gov. John Carney called the state of COVID-19 "dire" in Delaware, hospitalizations continue to climb, once again breaking another record this week.

On Jan. 5, 629 Delawareans were in the hospital due to COVID-19, according to state data.

Delaware has consistently broken records in the past weeks, following thousands of people getting testing for COVID-19 around the holidays. In the past week, the rate of new cases nearly doubled. About 25% of COVID-19 tests are positive, according to Dec. 31 state data.

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The governor has been hesitant to not impose any additional restrictions or mandates, saying he believes the best solution is for residents to take personal responsibility by getting vaccinated and wearing a mask in indoor public settings.


Carney once again entered Delaware into a state of emergency this week, which allows 100 members of the Delaware National Guard to serve as certified nursing assistants in the state’s hospitals.

Delaware hospitals, like health systems across the country, are struggling with staffing shortages, making this surge of cases even more difficult. Hospital leaders are asking for residents to not come to the emergency room for COVID-19 tests or to be treated for mild COVID-19 symptoms.

A vast majority of Delawareans being hospitalized and dying from the virus are unvaccinated, health officials said.

Health officials view hospitalizations as one of the "truest indicators of spread in our state," Dr. Karyl Rattay, director of the Division of Public Health, said during a press briefing Tuesday. She described these numbers as "concerning."

"Please think about how much our hospitals and health care workers are struggling," she said, "when you consider whether hosting a party, going into a dinner event or even if meeting with a small group of friends makes sense right now."

Contact Meredith Newman at (302) 256-2466 or at Follow her on Twitter at @MereNewman.

This article originally appeared on Delaware News Journal: COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to climb, breaking Delaware record