A novel coronavirus is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified. The virus causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is not the same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, like the common cold.

A diagnosis with coronavirus 229E, NL63, OC43, or HKU1 is not the same as a COVID-19 diagnosis. Patients with COVID-19 will be evaluated and cared for differently than patients with common coronavirus diagnosis.

To date, Delaware:

  • Has activated the Division of Public Health’s State Health Operations Center to allow for enhanced response coordination;
  • Maintains communication and outreach with federal, state and local partners;
  • Is monitoring asymptomatic (not sick) individuals returning from Mainland China to ensure they do not develop symptoms;
  • Provides symptom monitoring guidance for residents returning to Delaware from China, Italy, Japan, South Korea and Iran;
  • Participates in frequent calls with health care systems, EMS and first responder agencies and other state agency partners;
  • Provides information to health care professionals, businesses and educational settings;
  • and Has reviewed and adapted current pandemic flu plans for COVID-19.

The Delaware Division of Public Health has a strong relationship with hospitals, EMS, and first responder agencies through its partnership with the state’s Department of Safety and Homeland Security (DSHS). Staff have been holding regular calls with hospitals, the Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA), DSHS and EMS agencies.

The DPH recommends everyday measures that people can take to prevent the spread of all infections, which would also slow the spread of coronavirus disease:

  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow, not your hand. If you use a tissue, dispose of it right away.
  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly, including the backs of your hands and under your nails.
  • Clean surfaces at home, work or school that you use often.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • If you are healthy, the CDC does not recommend buying or using face masks. If you are infected, however, a mask can help prevent the spread of a virus.

Information from the Delaware Health and Social Services and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) said they are keeping a close eye on several long term care facilities in the state in the wake of 'significant ongoing' coronavirus outbreaks.

Pfizer and BioNTech are confident they can have a vaccine against the novel coronavirus ready for regulatory approval by the middle of October or early November, BioNTech CEO and co-founder Ugur Sahin told CNN Tuesday.