Mitigation measures, including stay-at-home orders and public mask wearing, together with routine public health interventions such as case investigation with contact tracing and immediate self-quarantine after exposure, are recommended to prevent and control the transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) (1-3). On March 11, the first COVID-19 case in Delaware was reported to the Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH). The state responded to ongoing community transmission with investigation of all identified cases (commencing March 11), issuance of statewide stay-at-home orders (March 24-June 1), a statewide public mask mandate (from April 28), and contact tracing (starting May 12). The relationship among implementation of mitigation strategies, case investigations, and contact tracing and COVID-19 incidence and associated hospitalization and mortality was examined during March-June 2020. Incidence declined by 82%, hospitalization by 88%, and mortality by 100% from late April to June 2020, as the mask mandate and contact tracing were added to case investigations and the stay-at-home order. Among 9,762 laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases reported during March 11-June 25, 2020, two thirds (6,527; 67%) of patients were interviewed, and 5,823 (60%) reported completing isolation. Among 2,834 contacts reported, 882 (31%) were interviewed and among these contacts, 721 (82%) reported completing quarantine. Implementation of mitigation measures, including mandated mask use coupled with public health interventions, was followed by reductions in COVID-19 incidence and associated hospitalizations and mortality. The combination of state-mandated community mitigation efforts and routine public health interventions can reduce the occurrence of new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths.
Kanu, F. A., Smith, E. E., Offutt-Powell, T., Hong, R., Dinh, T.-H., & Pevzner, E. (2020). Declines in SARS-CoV-2 Transmission, Hospitalizations, and Mortality After Implementation of Mitigation Measures— Delaware, March–June 2020. MMWR. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 69(45), 1691–1694. https://doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6945e1