With COVID Cases Exploding, Delaware County Council Seeks Additional Ways to Reign It In

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Image via Delaware County Council Facebook page.

In response to alarmingly high COVID-19 cases in Delaware County, the county council on Nov. 18 passed a resolution by a 4 to 1 vote asking the Pennsylvania Department of Health and Pa. Gov. Tom Wolf to enact additional COVID-19 mitigation strategies in the county.

Without a health department, the county cannot implement the new strategies on its own and must rely on the Pennsylvania Department of Health to enact them

Those additional mitigation strategies would be:

  • Required masks at food establishments except when a patron is eating or drinking
  • Limiting the number of individuals at a food establishment dining table to four (this pertains to inside and outside dining)
  • Limiting inside gatherings to 10 people or less

Delaware County now has the highest number of COVID-19 outbreaks than during any time of the pandemic.

“The efforts call on residents to display personal responsibility and further reduce the spread of the virus by limiting close contact with people outside of your immediate family,” said County Council President Brian Zidek.  “The common goal is to protect the community and not put our schools and businesses in danger of being shut down again.”

The County council also took the following immediate actions to address the increasing COVID-19 positivity rates:

  • Council approved an agreement with Visit Delco to promote the safe support of businesses during the holiday season
  • The County will launch communications campaigns to stress and encourage the behaviors that help contain the transmission of the COVID-19 virus throughout the community
  • The County will promote additional holiday guidance as provided by the Chester County Health Department
  • Many County departments have or will return to primarily hybrid and reduced in-person staffing models. Some services will only be provided virtually or on an appointment-only basis.  The number of in-person meetings will be minimized.

County actions already in place

  • Financial assistance to public schools for remote instruction and a return to in-person instruction.
  • Financial assistance to non-profit agencies and local businesses to support continued operation through the Delco Strong programs
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE) for childcare facilities
  • Financial assistance to economically qualifying families for childcare services
  • Flu vaccination and COVID-19 testing services
  • Finding a mobile trailer and other units to support mobile testing and vaccination sites in the future
  • Creating a Community Wellness Center in Yeadon for wellness services, testing, and vaccinations – including cold storage of COVID-19 vaccinations once they become available

At the height of the pandemic, there were 232 cases a day in Delaware County. On Nov. 18, Delaware County reported 287 cases, bringing the total of positive cases in Delaware County to 17,184.

There have been 836 COVID-19 related deaths in the county.

Delaware County is nearing a 7-day percent positivity of 10 percent.

Hospitals in the county continue to see an increase in COVID-19 admissions and have been diverting patients since Nov. 9 because they are at capacity or didn’t have enough healthcare workers to treat patients.

To see the county council resolution, click here.

To see additional mitigation efforts put into place by Pennsylvania on Nov. 17, click here.

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