COVID-19 Updates

Delaware is currently under a State of Emergency due to the Coronavirus Outbreak. As of Tuesday, March 24, 2020, at 8:00 am, a Stay-at-Home Order is in effect for non-essential Delaware businesses, and individuals. Please do your part to keep everyone safe and, if you are able, STAY HOME!

  • Division of Health and Social Services
    • Information Line: 1-866-408-1899
    • Information Line (TTY): 1-800-232-5460
  • Press Releases related to the coronavirus can be found here
  • For the latest Delaware updates, please go to de.gov/coronavirus

While we will do our best to keep you up to date, due to the ever changing nature of this pandemic updates may lag behind realtime. Please visit the Immunization Coalition of Delaware webpage (a program of the Academy/DPHA and the Division of Public Health) and the DHSS website (above) for more up to date information.

More Resources:

Postponements and Cancellations due to COVID-19

As COVID-19 continues to spread in the United States, and now in Delaware, we are taking additional steps to slow or mitigate its spread and protect the well-being of our community. These steps include restrictions on events where the public is gathered together, including our jointly operated Delaware Mini Medical School (with ChristianaCare), and the UD-Osher Lifelong Learning Institute’s “Medical, Dental, and Public Health” lecture series. At this time, both Mini Medical School and the Osher Series have been postponed indefinitely.

We are considering options to continue Mini Medical School via an online platform, and we will communicate out to registered attendees as additional information becomes available.  It is our hope that the Osher Lecture Series will continue this fall.

Our 90th Annual Meeting, will be postponed. More details will be available as the situation unfolds.

THANK YOU for your help and understanding!

APHA COVID-19 Resources


As the world’s attention is increasingly focusing on the novel coronavirus outbreak, APHA’s goal is to help spread accurate, timely and helpful information to the public health community and the general public.

Among the Association’s newest offerings:

  • A COVID-19 page on apha.org for public health professionals that links to APHA resources as well as those from such trusted sources as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization.
  • A Get Ready page for the general public that includes links to coronavirus fact sheets in English, Spanish, French and Chinese, mythbusters and links to FAQs and guidance.

DPH Announces Coronavirus Call Center

DOVER, DE (March 4, 2020) As part of the state’s response to the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak that has impacted many countries, including the U.S., the Division of Public Health (DPH) is announcing the opening of a call center at its State Health Operations Center (SHOC) in Smyrna. The call center is open to take questions from the public, schools, medical providers, state agencies and community organizations. Hours of operation will be 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Hours may be adjusted to accommodate for peak volume. Any changes will be communicated through press release and social media communications.

The call center number is 1-866-408-1899. There is also an email address where individuals can submit questions: DPHCall@delaware.gov .  A recorded message will provide instructions for persons calling after 4:30 p.m. or on weekends who may have symptoms of concern.  Additionally, if you are a returning traveler from a country with a level 2 Travel Alert or higher (China, Japan, Italy, South Korea or Iran), and have a medical emergency, you should contact 9-1-1.

“We are receiving a tremendous number of calls from concerned individuals, and from organizations seeking guidance on what they should be doing to mitigate community spread of coronavirus disease, should it occur in Delaware,” said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. “Opening this call center will enable us to answer people’s very valid concerns and enable key epidemiology staff to better focus on the job of monitoring returning travelers, and maintaining our high level of surveillance.”

Read More

DPH Announces Additional Flu-Related Deaths

DPH ANNOUNCES additional flu-related DEATHS, PROVIDES GUIDANCE TO AVOID ILLNESS

DOVER (Feb. 21, 2020) – The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) continues to urge individuals to take steps to prevent the flu as the number of confirmed flu cases continues to increase, and health officials announce additional flu-related deaths for the 2019-2020 season. To date, nine Delawareans have passed away due to flu-related complications during the 2019-2020 flu season. All nine individuals had underlying medical conditions.

Most recently, an 83-year-old woman from New Castle County who was diagnosed with influenza A passed away this week due to complications from the flu. Last week, a 59-year-old woman from New Castle County who was also diagnosed with influenza A passed away due to flu complications. Of the nine individuals who have passed away this season, they range in age from 29 to 96. Five persons were from New Castle County, one was from Kent County and three were from Sussex County. Six individuals were diagnosed with Influenza A and three were diagnosed with Influenza B. Two of the nine individuals who died from flu complications received the flu vaccine this season.

As of February 15, 2020, there have been 5,047 confirmed cases of influenza in Delaware, including 267 hospitalizations. These numbers reflect only the number of lab-confirmed cases; the actual number of cases circulating statewide is likely much higher. By comparison, at the same time in the 2018-2019 season, there were 3,264 flu cases in Delaware, including 537 hospitalizations, and 13 flu-related deaths.

“We express our deepest condolences to the family and friends of those we have lost due to the flu,” said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. “It’s not too late to get the flu vaccine. People six months and older should receive the flu vaccine every year. The vaccine’s main purpose is to make you less likely to catch the flu, but if you still catch it, the vaccine will make your symptoms milder. It takes two weeks for the antibodies in the flu vaccine to become fully effective, so if you haven’t gotten the vaccine yet, you should make arrangements to do so as soon as possible. Always remember to take any antiviral medicine that your doctor prescribes as needed, also.”

In addition to getting a flu vaccine and taking antiviral medication, DPH recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. If no tissue is available, cough or sneeze into your inner elbow.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Over-the-counter medicines can provide symptom relief, but if you suspect you have influenza, call your doctor as he or she may decide to provide antiviral medications to help hasten recovery and prevent serious complications. This is particularly important for those who feel very sick, are pregnant or have chronic medical conditions.

The risk for flu-related deaths is greatly increased in the very young, older individuals, and those of any age who have underlying health conditions. DPH continues to remind the public that there are steps they can take to prevent the spread of the flu. It is important for older individuals with underlying health conditions not only to be vaccinated, but also to limit contact with anyone who may be sick with influenza, and to contact their health care provider as soon as they become ill. Also, family, friends, and caregivers of older individuals with underlying health conditions should be vaccinated and arrange for alternative care, if possible, if they become sick with influenza.

DPH also recommends that individuals with chronic diseases monitor and manage their conditions, as non-compliance with physician’s recommendations can increase the risk for infection and complications. This includes maintaining appointments with their health care provider, taking medications as prescribed, and following diet and exercise recommendations from their doctor. Additionally, individuals who smoke and who are ready to stop using tobacco are encouraged to call the Delaware Quitline at 1-866-409-1858.

Flu symptoms come on suddenly, and include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headaches and body aches, chills and fatigue. Some people get complications including pneumonia, bronchitis, and sinus and ear infections. People with pre-existing health conditions such as diabetes and asthma are more susceptible to catching the flu.

Flu vaccines are available at many pharmacies and grocery stores, and through primary care physicians and some specialists. To find participating stores, enter your ZIP code in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s flu vaccine finder at www.cdc.gov/flu/. For more information about the flu, visit flu.delaware.gov/ or call DPH at 1-800-282-8672. Flu shots are still available at DPH clinics located within the State Service Centers:

  • Porter State Service Center, 509 W. Eighth St., Wilmington. For all ages 9 and up. Walk-ins are welcome Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to noon and from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Hudson State Service Center, 501 Ogletown Road, Newark. For all ages, including children age 6 months and older. Call 302-283-7587 (choose Option 2) to make an appointment Monday through Friday.
  • Williams State Service Center, 805 River Road, Dover. For all ages, including children age 6 months and older. Call 302-857-5140 to make an appointment Monday through Thursday, 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
  • Milford State Service Center – Riverwalk, 253 N.E. Front St., Milford. For ages 9 years and older. Mondays and Fridays. Walk-ins are accepted on Mondays from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. By appointment only on Fridays from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Call 302-424-7130 to make an appointment.
  • Anna C. Shipley State Service Center, 350 Virginia Ave., Seaford. For all ages, including children age 6 months and older. Walk-ins welcome Monday through Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
  • Adams State Service Center, 544 S. Bedford St., Georgetown. For all ages, including children age 6 months and older. Walk-ins welcome on Mondays only from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

March Awareness

March is…

Brain Injury Awareness Month – https://www.biausa.org/public-affairs/public-awareness/brain-injury-awareness

National Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Awareness Month – https://www.cdc.gov/cfs/

National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month – https://www.ccalliance.org/awareness-month/

National Kidney Cancer Awareness Month – https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-communication-programs/nkdep/get-involved/kidney-month/Pages/kidney-month.aspx

Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month – https://mymsaa.org/about-msaa/ms-awareness-month-2017/

National Myeloma Awareness Month – http://mam.myeloma.org/

National Nutrition Month – https://www.eatright.org/food/resources/national-nutrition-month

 

March 16-22: Brain Awareness Week – http://www.dana.org/BAW/

March 8-14: National Pulmonary Rehabilitation Week – https://www.aacvpr.org/Events-Education/Live-Workshops/Cardiac-Pulmonary-Rehabilitation-Weeks

 

March 8: World Kidney Day – http://www.worldkidneyday.org/

March 21: Kick Butts Day – http://www.kickbuttsday.org/

March 22: World Water Day – http://www.worldwaterday.org/

March 24: Tuberculosis Awareness Day – http://www.stoptb.org/events/world_tb_day/

 

Delaware Mini Medical School

Due to COVID-19, and with an abundance of caution for the well-being of our community, Mini Medical School is being postponed indefinitely.  We are exploring options to deliver
the course content online to previously registered individuals, and will communicate details as they become available.

Designed for individuals who want to gain a deeper understanding of the world of medicine, Mini-Medical School is a free, six-week series of lectures for adults of all ages and high school students co-sponsored with ChristianaCare.

Attendees learn about important trends in diagnosing and treating illness and general health topics. Faculty will provide in-depth lectures and allow time for questions to enhance the experience. There are no tests or grades. No previous medical training is required. Participants who attend all six sessions will receive a Certificate of Achievement.

Light refreshments will be served.

 

2020 Mini-Med Lecture Schedule

Week 1. Special Health Care Needs – Making the Transition to Adulthood for those with Special Needs

Thursday, February 27, 2020
Registration – 6:30 p.m., Lecture – 7 to 9 p.m.

 

Week 2. Kidney Transplant: Preparation by the Donor and Recipient

Thursday, March 5, 2020
Registration – 6:30 p.m., Lecture – 7 to 9 p.m.

 

Week 3. Psychological Assessment: Tools and Methods for Understanding Our Behaviors

Thursday, March 12, 2020
Registration – 6:30 p.m., Lecture – 7 to 9 p.m.

 

Week 4. The Evolution of the Nurse Practitioner & Physicans Assistant Role in Medicine

Thursday, March 19, 2020
Registration – 6:30 p.m., Lecture – 7 to 9 p.m.

 

Week 5. The New Field of Immunotherapy

Thursday, March 26, 2020
Registration – 6:30 p.m., Lecture – 7 to 9 p.m.

 

Week 6. Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders

Thursday, April 2, 2020
Registration – 6:30 p.m., Lecture – 7 to 9 p.m.

 

Seating is limited. Register online or call 800-693-CARE (2273).

DHSA and DIMER: Partnerships & Progress for Delawareans

December 16, 2019

For nearly 20 years, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) has served as the official osteopathic medical school of Delaware—a state that currently does not have its own medical school—through its partnership with the Delaware Institute of Medical Education and Research (DIMER). The organization provides funding to the College to deliver medical education to Delaware residents, in the hopes that those students will return to practice after graduation.

PCOM and DIMER recently celebrated their relationship, and the 50th anniversary of DIMER, with a dinner honoring Sherman Townsend, board chair of DIMER and honorary degree recipient from PCOM; alumnus and PCOM Board Member Vincent Lobo, DO ’65, who was instrumental in facilitating the partnership between DIMER and PCOM; and Omar Khan, MD, MHS, president and CEO of the Delaware Health Sciences Alliance—of which PCOM is a member institution.

“By partnering with DIMER for these many years, PCOM has been able to provide high-quality medical education for individuals with a passion for healthcare, who may not have otherwise been able to receive it,” said Deborah Benvenger, chief admissions officer at PCOM. “It is our hope that these caring, competent students will return to their home state to serve their hometown communities.”

Read the article here.

During the evening, DHSA President and CEO Omar Khan, MD, MHS, discussed the relationship between DHSA and DIMER.  That presentation can be found here.