WASHINGTON (FOX 5 DC) - A Delaware Health Department official tells FOX 5 a data issue is the reason why Delaware ended up back on D.C.’s quarantine list when the list of “high risk” states was updated early Monday morning.
“Delaware was once again added to quarantine lists in the region due to an artificial increase our total positive case total. This temporary increase in the cumulative number of positive cases which occurred a couple weeks ago, was a direct result of processing older (historical) cases and is not representative of the current infection risk in Delaware,” explained Jen Brestel, a Spokeswoman with Delaware’s Department of Public Health (DPH).
Brestel tells FOX 5 the data issue was explained in a press release issued by DPH on August 14:
“This is why we strongly encourage members of the media and the general public to view the 'New Positive Cases' graph on the My Healthy Community dashboard for the most accurate data trends. We report our daily trends at de.gov/healthycommunity. Our current trends are well below the quarantine standards,” Brestel added in an email.
Apparently this data issue was reported around the time the District’s health officers were pulling information from DPH to update D.C.’s quarantine list.
The District’s quarantine list, first released about a month ago, currently identifies around 30 states D.C.’s Department of Health considers to be “high risk”, where the seven-day moving average of daily new COVID19 cases is 10 or more per 100,000 persons.
Delaware was on the first list released. It was removed on the second update – and placed back onto the list Monday morning. (D.C. officials update the quarantine list around every two weeks).
Under the COVID-19 pandemic, D.C. now mandates that any resident visiting a “high risk” state for non-essential reasons must quarantine at home for 14-days.
A source also tells FOX 5, Delaware was very close to cutoff the last time it was not included on D.C.’s quarantine list.
It is not immediately clear whether the Mayor’s office now plans to remove Delaware from the quarantine list, which means those visiting Delaware must still follow the COVID-19 orders to quarantine.
A source tells FOX 5 there is concern the District could open doors for states to complain about being on the list if the District makes exceptions for anomalies.
“We are disappointed. This is has happened a couple times to us, and we just don’t understand why,” said Rehoboth’s Mayor Paul Kuhns, who told FOX 5 there will be a financial impact in addition to what businesses are already suffering due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“A lot of people own second homes in Rehoboth Beach coming from the D.C. area and if they’re not going to come to their houses, then the local business – the restaurants, the retail shops, the ice-cream shops – don’t get the same revenue that they got in the past … It’s hard to put a specific dollar number on it, but it is substantial.”
Kuhns said New York, New Jersey and Connecticut also recently placed Delaware on their states’ quarantine lists.
High-risk states that require 14 days of self-quarantine: