Magarik long-term care director

Delaware's novel coronavirus COVID-19 cases are above 25,000 for the first time since March, Governor John Carney announced Tuesday during his weekly press conference to detail the First State's response to the pandemic. 

Total deaths associated with the virus now stand at 712, Carney said, and hospitalizations have climbed to 107 currently. Secretary of the Department of Health and Social Services Molly Magarik said, even as the state's numbers climb, a decreasing number of people showing up to testing sites is likely leading to undercounting of real COVID-19 cases. 

"We really urge people in these towns to take advantage of the many free and easy test sites available," she said. 

As the number of positive cases increases in all three counties, officials continue to monitor the situation at nursing homes, where cases continue to spread.

"The higher cases are actually driven by outbreaks in long-term care facilities, which is why our recent...latest efforts around supporting long-term care facilities are going to be so important," Magarik said. 

The DHSS's Dr. Susan Levy will now be the Division of Healthcare Quality's Long-Term Care Medical Director, and support the state's Health Operations Center, beginning November 9, 2020. She'll be providing technical assistance directly to facilities. 

"She's a specialist in internal and geriatric medicine, and she has extensive experience not only in Delaware, but specifically in long-term care facilities," Magarik said, adding, "We know that our long-term care facilities and the workers in those facilities are working very hard, but they too are struggling and sometimes they are positive themselves, and so they have to be out of work while...the facility is managing outbreaks with residents."