Editor's note: This story reflects the Delaware Department of Health and Social Service's updated numbers.
Delaware wrapped up 2021 with another week of record-breaking COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, the Delaware Division of Public Health reported.
The average number of daily positive cases increased by almost 77% from last week, with Wednesday alone recording 3,380 new cases – the highest since the pandemic began.
Testing centers remain overwhelmed, and the seemingly endless lines will likely grow worse after New Year's gatherings. Cases are similarly expected to continue to surge, experts say.
These grim milestones fueled by the more transmissible omicron variant have spurred reactions from institutions across the state. Gov. John Carney announced on Thursday that Delaware will enter a state of emergency on Monday, Jan. 3, and government-run buildings will once again close their doors to members of the public.
More on Carney's announcement: Amid a COVID-19 surge, New Year's gatherings discouraged. National Guard to support hospitals
The impact of this winter surge also will be felt by students of all ages. For those in college at the University of Delaware, the winter session will begin online, the university announced Thursday. Campus housing will still open on Jan. 2 as scheduled.
After the first week of classes, UD said it will reevaluate if it's safe to resume classes in person. All students must continue to wear masks in public spaces and get a booster shot by Jan. 24.
All schools in the state will give more official attention to contact tracing, the Division of Public Health said. Students and staff at all grade levels with asymptomatic cases of COVID-19 also need to quarantine for only five days, as per new recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Division of Public Health continues to urge Delawareans to get vaccinated and get a booster shot if eligible.
For information on the COVID-19 vaccine and where to get it, visit de.gov/getmyvaccine.
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This article originally appeared on Delaware News Journal: Daily COVID-19 cases up 77% from last week amid winter surge