DOVER, Delaware (WPVI) -- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is once again recommending Delawareans wear a mask in indoor public settings due to the rise in COVID-19 cases.
According to officials, the community level is now in the high "red" category as of July 28.
As a result, health officials recommend the following:
- Wear a well-fitting mask in indoor public settings, regardless of vaccination status.
- Stay home if you are sick and get tested if you have symptoms or were exposed to someone with COVID-19.
- Get vaccinated and boosted when you are eligible to provide increased protection against severe illness and hospitalization.
- If you have household or social contact with someone at high risk for severe disease, self-test before being around them and wear a mask when indoors with them.
Officials said in the last week, COVID-19 hospitalizations in Delaware rose 22%, from 129 to 165. Twelve patients are in critical condition as of July 29. Sixteen children under the age of 5 required hospital admission, officials said..
The seven-day average of cases increased with a 20% positivity rate and 523 new positive cases on July 29, officials said.
The CDC believes that the emergence of the dominant BA.5 variant in the United States has fueled the rapid rise in cases since June and suggests it spreads more easily than previous variants.
"Data indicates that while the current vaccines may not be as effective in protecting you from getting infected by this powerful variant, they are highly effective in preventing severe illness, hospitalization, and death," says DPH Interim Director Dr. Rick Hong.