coronavirus outbreak

UDel Professor Is First COVID-19 Case in Delaware

COVID-19 has sickened several people in the Philadelphia region, including at least one new coronavirus case in Delaware.

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What to Know

  • The first new coronavirus case in Delaware is a professor at the University of Delaware.
  • Officials said the professor, a man over the age of 50, is not severely ill and isolated himself at home as soon as symptoms appeared.
  • The professor was exposed to another confirmed case of COVID-19 in another state.

Update: Additional cases of the new coronavirus have since been connected to Delaware's first case. See an updated list of all cases in the Philadelphia area here.

The first new coronavirus case in Delaware is a professor at the University of Delaware, the school announced Wednesday.

Officials said the professor, a man over the age of 50 from New Castle County, is not severely ill and self-isolated at home as soon as symptoms appeared. He was exposed to another confirmed case of COVID-19 in another state.

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“The patient is doing well. We understand that news of a positive case in the state is concerning, but this is something we have been preparing for over the last several weeks,” Delaware Division of Public Health Director Dr. Karyl Rattay said.

Students, faculty and staff who have concerns about potential exposure and risks should call the University of Delaware's Call Center at 302-831-1188 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The university also announced that classes are suspended for Thursday and Friday. Spring Break will begin on Saturday, March 14.

“I encourage all Delawareans to follow recommended measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, such as staying home when sick and washing hands frequently," U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.) said.

COVID-19 is spread mainly from person-to-person when droplets from an infected person who coughs or sneezes land on someone else’s nose or mouth or enter their lungs, according to the CDC. It can also be spread when someone touches their own mouth, nose and possibly eyes after coming into contact with a surface that has the virus on it.

To prevent the spread of the virus, the CDC recommends frequently washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds – or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol – wiping down dirty surfaces and using the inside of the elbow to cover a cough or sneeze.

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