WILMINGTON, Del. (CBS) — Delaware is shattering record levels of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations as the state reenters a state of emergency. The National Guard is again being called to duty to help with the exploding medical crisis.
This is the predicted and dreaded post-holiday COVID surge that’s expected to get even worse.READ MORE: Sharon Hill Police Officers Charged With Manslaughter In Fatal Shooting Of 8-Year-Old Fanta Bility
COVID cases in Delaware have doubled in just the last week.
The stark new alert from the Delaware Health Department says COVID cases are at an all-time high. If you’re sick, you should assume it’s COVID and stay home except to get tested.
Cases are up 227% in the last two weeks and hospitalizations are at record levels with 602 COVID patients on Tuesday.
The highest previous number was 474 patients in January 2021.
“We’re seeing the highest number of cases that we’ve seen in at least two years. One in four tests positive so there is a tremendous amount of virus spreading in the community,” Delaware Gov. John Carney said.READ MORE: Website To Order Free COVID-19 Tests Up And Running
Carney says the state is focused on helping overburdened hospitals with 100 National Guard members now in training and state officials are worried this post-holiday surge will get even worse.
“Knowing that people still likely gathered for New Year’s Eve activities we anticipate these numbers are going to get higher in the coming weeks,” Dr. Karyl Rattay said.
Timelapse animation shows how the virus has overtaken the state. Over the past two years, 25% of COVID tests in Delaware are now coming back positive.
“We’re almost two years into this. We know what we need to do is mask indoors public places, get vaccinated,” Carney said.
While vaccinations have improved, it’s still an issue. Up to 80% of people hospitalized are not vaccinated.
“Those choosing to remain unvaccinated are really having a tremendous impact on our hospitals so if you are unvaccinated I really want to encourage you please talk with a credible resource,” Dr. Rattay said.MORE NEWS: NBA At 75: Former 76er Dr. J Says Players From Many Eras Built League
The governor said, in addition to helping hospitals, a top priority is keeping schools open in Delaware. So far, there have been no significant COVID outbreaks.