COVID-19 testing in Delaware hits record heights ahead of Thanksgiving week
The seven-day average daily coronavirus case count in Delaware once again set an all-time high on Sunday, as the state tests a record number of people in the days prior to Thanksgiving.
Delaware on Sunday reported 486 new COVID-19 cases, raising the rolling seven-day average of new cases to a record 428.4. Two days prior, Delaware reported a record-high 649 cases.
Those 649 cases resulted from 8,123 tests, the fourth-highest total reported in a single day in Delaware. On Wednesday, the state recorded 10,925 tests, the most ever in one day.
There is a two-day lag on full testing data from the state, and totals reported on previous days are often updated as more tests are accounted for. The state relies on seven-day averages because the way testing data is reported is susceptible to high variance.
The numbers, which reflect the state of the virus as of 6 p.m. Saturday, show more people in Delaware are seeking out a test and a significant portion of them are returning positive results.
The daily average percent of tests that are positive is 5.9%, the highest it's been since early June. The average daily case count has grown by 90% over the past two weeks and has set a new record in 16 of the last 18 days.
Health officials in Delaware and across the country are urging people to reconsider holiday plans, especially those that involve travel, and celebrate only with their household.
Delaware's latest restrictions, which go into effect at 8 a.m. Monday, limit private indoor gatherings to 10 people. However, Gov. John Carney said last week the state will rely on voluntary compliance and won't be "knocking on doors" to enforce the restriction on Thanksgiving.
The state has offered a number of pop-up testing sites, in addition to its permanent operations, over the past several days ahead of what is typically one of the busiest travel weeks of the year.
Officials have warned that securing a negative test is not a substitute for taking precautionary measures like wearing a mask. Tests are not a definitive indicator of whether one has contracted the virus, and only show your status at one point in time.
A 48-hour instant testing site at Newark Urgent Care on the city's Main Street drew hundreds of people in long lines from Tuesday to Thursday. On Saturday, thousands turned out for a testing event at the University of Delaware's STAR Campus.
The average number of tests performed per day over the past week is 6,631.3, the highest its ever been.
Delaware on Sunday reported 177 hospitalizations, the most since May 28. It reported two new deaths, raising the state's death toll to 748.