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By Stephanie Stahl
/ CBS Philadelphia
WILMINGTON, Del. (CBS) — Lots of people are sick in Delaware. The state is experiencing an alarming spike in COVID-19 cases and the flu is also on the rise.
They said residents need to take more precautions and they’re urging people at high-risk to wear masks in crowded indoor locations.
Delaware is swamped with sick people COVID-19 spiking and there’s an early surge of influenza.
“Yeah, I think as a division we do have concerns anytime we see community levels rising,” Emily Hanlin, with the Delaware Health Department, said.
Hanlin is the lead epidemiologist with Delaware’s health department. She says COVID-19 is especially high among people between the ages of 18 and 49.
Overall, COVID-19 cases in Delaware are up 62% over the last two weeks. Hospitalizations have increased by 17% and COVID-19 deaths rose 52% over the last two weeks.
Hanlin says the department has considered the spike being a post-Thanksgiving surge.
She says viruses are circulating more now because more people are congregating inside, most without masks.
“So right now, Delaware does not have a mask mandate, but as good stewards of public health, we do know that masks work. So it’s always a good idea to consider masking if you’re going to be around someone who’s at risk and you’re going to see grandma or grandpa at Christmas,” Hanlin said.
Anders Eliasen is among a growing number of people infected with COVID-19 for the first time.
“I didn’t feel like I was invincible, I thought it was inevitable that I was going to get it,” Eliasen said.
He says he let his guard down at a football game.
“I was like, oh shoot, I forgot my mask,” he said.
Influenza cases are surging around the country and in Delaware, the blue line shows the dramatic increase in new flu cases is highest among 5 to 11-year-olds.
“We are seeing a very early rise in influenza,” Hanlin said.
She says part of the problem could be that only 30% of Delawareans have received the recommended flu shot.
Health officials are urging people to get flu shots and to also get COVID-19 boosters, those numbers are also low in Delaware.
Doctors say you can get both vaccines at the same time.
Stephanie Stahl is an Emmy Award-winning health reporter. She can be seen daily on CBS3 Eyewitness News and The CW Philly.
First published on December 13, 2022 / 5:52 PM
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