Delaware hit another unfortunate coronavirus milestone Wednesday, with the number of confirmed cases surpassing 1,000.
The state now has 1,116 cases and 19 deaths, according to the Division of Public Health. The latest deaths include an 88-year-old man from New Castle County, an 81-year-old man from New Castle County and a 74-year-old woman from Sussex County.
Of the confirmed cases, 636 are in New Castle County, 201 are in Kent County, and 279 are in Sussex County.
According to officials, 177 patients are hospitalized and 51 are critically ill. The patients range in age from 1 to 97.
In a piece of good news, the number of patients who have recovered continues to increase, now standing at 159.
On Wednesday, the state advised residents to start covering their faces when out in public.
The primary purpose of wearing a cloth face covering is not to protect oneself – it is to protect others, officials said. Members of the general public are not recommended to wear medical or surgical masks, which should be reserved as personal protective equipment for health care workers. A cloth face covering may be factory-made or sewn by hand, or can be improvised from household items such as scarfs, T-shirts, sweatshirts or towels.
“Delaware’s response to COVID-19 has been driven by science, and will continue to be driven by science,” Gov. John Carney said. “Our goal is simple. We are working to prevent a surge in cases, protect hospital capacity, and save lives. The science tells us that wearing a face covering in certain public settings can help prevent transmission and spread of the COVID-19 virus. But wearing a face covering is not an excuse to spend more time in public. Stay home. Don’t go out in public unnecessarily. Wash your hands. Disinfect surfaces frequently. It’s important we all do our part to get through this.”
People who wear a cloth face covering should practice strict hand-washing before and after touching the face covering, according to the DPH guidance. Face coverings are not a replacement for washing hands, practicing physical distancing, and staying home.