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Town of Fenwick Island

State of Emergency Declaration’s

9/3/2020

Governor John Carney on Thursday signed the 27th modification to his State of Emergency, combining all active COVID-19 restrictions into a single order. Governor Carney’s modification also formalizes the latest restrictions around bar service in Delaware beach communities and requires that businesses more strictly enforce face covering requirements among their employees. 

Governor Carney’s order will take effect at 8:00 a.m. on Friday, September 4. 

Read the full provisions of Governor Carney’s State of Emergency order. 

“For months, Delawareans have stepped up, made significant sacrifices and taken simple precautions to beat this COVID-19 virus,” said Governor Carney. “We have made real progress. Delawareans have saved lives by taking the science seriously. Fewer Delawareans are in the hospital today because we’re following those basic precautions. But we’re not out of this fight yet. Continue to wear a face covering in public places. Avoid large gatherings. Physically distance from others outside your household. That’s how we’ll get more Delaware children back in school and more Delawareans back to work. Stay vigilant.”

Governor Carney’s order requires businesses to more strictly enforce face covering requirements among their employees. They must have written documentation, such as a doctor’s note, supporting any accommodation that allows an employee to not wear a face covering. The order also includes additional guidance around the wearing of face coverings in restaurants and gyms. 

In restaurants, Delawareans and visitors are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings when waitstaff visits a table, and whenever they are not eating or drinking. Customers must wear coverings if they leave their table and while entering or exiting the establishment. 

In gyms and other exercise facilities, Delawareans must wear face coverings when they are not engaged in vigorous physical activity. Vigorous physical activity – or high-intensity exercise – is defined as a physical activity done with a large amount of effort, resulting in a substantially higher heart rate and rapid breathing. Delawareans must wear face coverings while weight-lifting, which is not considered vigorous physical activity, and everyone is strongly encouraged to wear face coverings at all times in gyms. 

According to the updated order, bars in Delaware beach communities may reopen on Friday for food service with significant safety precautions. Reservations are required for bar service, and food must be ordered. Patrons must maintain six (6) feet social distance from non-household members.

Governor Carney’s State of Emergency declaration – including each of its modifications – carries the full force and effect of law. Delawareans and visitors also must follow local restrictions in place to limit community spread of COVID-19. 

Anyone with a question about COVID-19, whether related to medical or social service needs, should call Delaware 2-1-1. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing can text their ZIP code to 898-211. Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. 

Questions can also be submitted by email at DPHCall@delaware.gov

Report a business for COVID-19 non-compliance using this form

DPH will continue to update the public as more information becomes available. For the latest on Delaware’s response, go to de.gov/coronavirus


September 3, 2020

Governor John Carney on Thursday formally extended the State of Emergency declaration another 30 days to confront community spread of COVID-19, and issued the following statement:

“Delawareans have made real sacrifices to flatten the COVID-19 curve, and keep their families, friends and neighbors healthy. But if we hope to get more children in school, and more Delawareans back to work, we need to stay vigilant, especially this Labor Day weekend. Wear a face covering and avoid large gatherings. Wash or sanitize your hands frequently. Keep your distance from others outside your household. We’re beating COVID-19 but this fight isn’t over.”

Governor Carney’s State of Emergency declaration – including each of its modifications – carries the full force and effect of law. Delawareans and visitors also must follow local restrictions in place to limit community spread of COVID-19.

Anyone with a question about COVID-19, whether related to medical or social service needs, should call Delaware 2-1-1. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing can text their ZIP code to 898-211. Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Questions can also be submitted by email at DPHCall@delaware.gov.

Report a business for COVID-19 non-compliance using this form.

DPH will continue to update the public as more information becomes available. For the latest on Delaware’s response, go to de.gov/coronavirus.


August 26, 2020

Governor John Carney on Wednesday signed the 25th modification to his State of Emergency declaration, formalizing new face covering requirements for children. The modification also requires Delaware schools to notify families if they become aware of positive cases of COVID-19 in their schools. 

 Click here to read Governor Carney’s modification

 “Delawareans are beating this virus and driving our numbers down. But if we hope to get more children and educators back in school, and more Delawareans back to work, we need to stay vigilant, ” said Governor Carney. “Wear a face mask. Wash your hands frequently. Stay at least six feet away from others. Stay home if you’re sick. And – whether you have symptoms or you don’t – consider getting a test at de.gov/gettested.” 

The modification also suspends formal observations under the DPAS II system until November 1, and directs the Department of Education to work with educators to develop a modified system for tracking student growth, taking into account the challenges of remote and hybrid learning.  For the months of September and October, the Department of Education will work with districts, charters, and educators on informal observation strategies and ensure educators are receiving feedback and administrators are giving feedback in a new way given the challenges presented by hybrid and remote learning.

Anyone with a question about COVID-19, whether related to medical or social service needs, should call Delaware 2-1-1. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing can text their ZIP code to 898-211. Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Questions can also be submitted by email at DPHCall@delaware.gov.

Report violations of COVID-19 restrictions by emailing HSPContact@delaware.gov

DPH will continue to update the public as more information becomes available. For the latest on Delaware’s response, go to //de.gov/coronavirus.


July 24, 2020

Governor John Carney on Friday signed the 24th modification to his State of Emergency declaration, allowing driver education services to resume immediately, with safety measures in place to prevent transmission of COVID-19. Governor Carney’s modification also allows senior centers to open with safety precautions at 30 percent capacity.

“Delawareans have made real progress against this disease, but COVID-19 is still active in our communities. And we’ve seen what has happened in other states when you let your guard down,” said Governor Carney. “Stay vigilant. Wear a face mask. Wash your hands frequently. Stay at least six feet away from others. And – whether you have symptoms or you don’t – consider getting a test at de.gov/gettested. Testing helps us track the virus in our state and prevent outbreaks.”

According to the updated emergency order, personal driving schools and instruction may reopen, provided that at a maximum the vehicle contains one adult and one student in the front driver and passenger seats, and one additional person in the back seat. All people in the vehicle must wear face coverings at all times. Windows should be open as much as possible to help air exchange within the vehicle to reduce viral load.

Food and drink establishments are now also required to give customers the option to leave information on file to help with contact tracing in the event of a positive case being linked to the establishment. Tracing known contacts of positive cases helps public health officials trace transmission of the virus and prevent larger outbreaks. Restaurants are not required to deny service to customers who choose not to provide contact information.


June 23, 2020

Governor John Carney on Tuesday issued the 23rd modification to the State of Emergency declaration, closing bars in eastern Sussex County to limit spread of COVID-19 in Delaware’s beach communities. The modification also includes consumer protections for Delawareans who may face foreclosure or eviction filings.

Click here to read Governor Carney’s modified State of Emergency.

“Delawareans and Delaware businesses have made significant sacrifices to flatten the curve. We are beating this disease. But COVID-19 has not gone away,” said Governor Carney. “We need to protect our progress, and stay vigilant. Know your status by getting tested – especially if you have spent time in our beach communities. Wear a face mask in public settings, as you’re required to do under the State of Emergency. Remain socially distant. Wash or sanitize your hands frequently. We know those are the best, and easiest, ways to prevent transmission of this virus. Let’s not go backwards.”

Visit de.gov/gettested to find a local testing site.

Governor Carney’s latest modification includes several consumer protections for Delawareans and Delaware families. Effective at 8:00 a.m. on July 1, filings for foreclosures and evictions can resume, but will continue to be stayed to permit the Justice of the Peace Courts to determine whether the parties would benefit from a court-supervised mediation or alternative dispute resolution. That process may include identifying access to housing support services through the Delaware State Housing Authority. Local sheriffs and constables are directed to refrain from removing individuals from residential properties unless a Delaware court determines that enforcement is necessary in the interest of justice. In addition, utility companies must offer four-month payment plans to those affected by COVID who were unable to pay utility bills during the height of the pandemic, and insurance companies must offer 90-day repayment plans for those affected by COVID who failed to make premium payments during the height of the pandemic.

Report a business for non-compliance using this form.

Anyone with a question about COVID-19, whether related to medical or social service needs, should call Delaware 2-1-1. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing can text their ZIP code to 898-211. Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Health or medically-related COVID-19 questions can also be submitted by email to DPHCall@delaware.gov.

DPH will continue to update the public as more information becomes available. For the latest on Delaware’s response to COVID-19, go to de.gov/coronavirus.


June 19, 2020

Governor John Carney on Friday signed the 22nd modification to his State of Emergency Order, permitting an expansion of youth sports activities and personal care services if safety guidelines are followed to prevent infection and community spread of COVID-19.

Click here to read Governor Carney’s modified order.

“We want Delawareans to get outside and enjoy the summer. But everyone should keep in mind that COVID-19 is still active in Delaware,” said Governor Carney. “Our goal is to limit community spread of the virus to protect lives, and Delaware’s hard-fought progress against this disease. Please wear a face covering. Stay at least six feet away from others outside your household. Wash your hands frequently. This is a deadly disease – especially for our most vulnerable – and that’s the best way to reduce our risk. Stay vigilant.”

Effective at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, June 20youth and adult recreational sports tournaments may resume – subject to the prior approval of a tournament-specific safety plan by the Division of Public Health (DPH). Tournament-specific plans must include a method to collect contact information for all players, staff, coaches, officials and spectators, as well as team rosters and game schedules, in order to track the spread of COVID-19 in the event of an outbreak.

Effective at 8:00 a.m. on Monday, June 22, personal care services businesses may expand to 60 percent of stated fire code capacity. Additional requirements for consumer-facing businesses are included in Delaware’s Phase 2 reopening plan.

For additional details about Delaware’s economic reopening, visit de.gov/economy.

For details about COVID-19 testing, visit coronavirus.delaware.gov/testing

Anyone with a question about COVID-19, whether related to medical or social service needs, should call Delaware 2-1-1. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing can text their ZIP code to 898-211. Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Health or medically-related COVID-19 questions can also be submitted by email to DPHCall@delaware.gov.

DPH will continue to update the public as more information becomes available. For the latest on Delaware’s response, go to de.gov/coronavirus.


June 9, 2020

Governor John Carney on Tuesday announced that Phase 2 of Delaware’s economic reopening will begin at 8:00 a.m. on Monday, June 15. Retail establishments, restaurants and other businesses that were permitted to open at 30 percent of stated fire capacity in Phase 1 may expand to 60 percent of stated fire occupancy in Phase 2.  This is the 21st modification to his State of Emergency declaration.

Child care facilities will be allowed to open for all Delaware families during Phase 2, with restrictions on group sizes and additional social distancing and cleaning protocols. The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) continues to encourage Delawareans to telework during Phase 2 of the economic reopening. Delaware families who can keep their children at home during Phase 2 of the reopening are encouraged to do so, to help limit group sizes and prevent transmission of COVID-19, according to public health guidance.

Read the full State of Delaware guidelines on Phase 2 of economic reopening.

“As businesses reopen and more Delawareans head back to work, it’s important to remember that COVID-19 is still active in Delaware,” said Governor Carney. “Delawareans need to remain vigilant. Keep distance from others outside your household. Wash and sanitize your hands frequently. Wear a face covering in public settings, and act with a sense of community. This pandemic is not over. Now’s not the time to let up.”

Also on Tuesday, Governor Carney announced a rolling reopening of personal care service businesses – including tattoo shops and massage therapy services. Personal care businesses may open at 30 percent of stated fire occupancy at 8:00 a.m. on Monday, June 8

Personal care service businesses and exercise facilities will remain at 30 percent of stated fire occupancy in Phase 2. 

Anyone with a question about COVID-19, should call Delaware 2-1-1, or email info@delaware211.org. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing can text their ZIP code to 898-211. Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Medical-related questions related to testing, symptoms, and health-related guidance can also be submitted by email at DPHCall@delaware.gov

The Delaware Division of Public Health will continue to update the public as more information becomes available. For the latest on Delaware’s response, go to de.gov/coronavirus.


May 26, 2020

Governor John Carney on Tuesday announced that the State of Delaware will lift the ban on short-term rental units and the mandatory 14-day quarantine for out-of-state travelers on June 1 as part of the rolling reopening of Delaware’s economy.  This is the 20th modification to his State of Emergency declaration.

Governor Carney previously lifted State of Delaware restrictions on Delaware beaches ahead of the Memorial Day weekend. 

Phase 1 of Delaware’s economic reopening is scheduled to begin on June 1, allowing retail establishments, restaurants and other businesses to open at 30 percent of stated fire capacity with social distancing requirements and other public health guidance in place. 

Read the State of Delaware’s Phase 1 economic reopening guidance.

“We want visitors to enjoy Delaware, our world-class beaches and restaurants, but it’s important that everyone remember that COVID-19 is still very much active in Delaware,” said Governor Carney. “Delawareans who visited our beaches this past weekend acted responsibly, taking basic precautions to protect their families and their neighbors. Thank you. We all need to continue taking steps to protect our most vulnerable. Those steps aren’t complicated. Wash your hands frequently. Maintain distance between yourself and others. Wear a face covering when you’re in a public setting. Don’t let up.”

Governor Carney also announced on Tuesday that outdoor gatherings of up to 250 people – including weddings and outdoor graduation ceremonies – will be permitted in Delaware beginning on June 1, with basic public health precautions in place to protect against spread of COVID-19. Cloth face coverings must be worn in accordance with Governor Carney’s State of Emergency declaration, and individuals must maintain social distance of at least six feet from anyone outside of their household. 

Gatherings over 250 individuals are not permitted during Phase 1. However, hosts of planned outdoor large gatherings and events may apply to host a large gathering or event by submitting a plan to the Delaware Division of Small Business at least seven days prior to the event. The Delaware Department of Education will release guidance for outdoor graduations later today. 

Read the State of Delaware’s guidance for outdoor gatherings for full details. 

Outdoor gatherings should only be carried out if there is strict adherence to social distancing and other public health guidance from the Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which are intended to protect the most vulnerable from COVID-19 infection and serious illness. 

In conjunction with the easing of certain business, travel and gathering restrictions, Governor Carney will lift Delaware’s stay-at-home order effective June 1, but he cautioned that Delawareans should continue to avoid unnecessary outings and gatherings to limit community spread of COVID-19.

“We are where we are because Delawareans listened and stayed home,” said Governor Carney. “While we are slowly reopening our economy, it’s critical that Delawareans not rush out and undo all the hard work they’ve done to get us to this point. Let’s continue to be cautious and responsible as we ease our way into this new normal.”

The State of Delaware will release guidance later this week on summer school programs and summer camps. 

For additional details about Delaware’s economic reopening, visit de.gov/economy

Anyone with a question about COVID-19, should call Delaware 2-1-1, or email info@delaware211.org. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing can text their ZIP code to 898-211. Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Medical-related questions related to testing, symptoms, and health-related guidance can also be submitted by email at DPHCall@delaware.gov

 Click here to find the latest COVID-19 testing locations.

DPH will continue to update the public as more information becomes available. For the latest on Delaware’s response, go to de.gov/coronavirus.


May 19, 2020

Governor John Carney on Tuesday announced additional steps allowing retail establishments and restaurants to expand operations – while maintaining social distancing to prevent spread of COVID-19.  This is the nineteenth modification to his State of Emergency declaration.

Under the interim steps announced on Tuesday, all retail establishments in Delaware may operate by appointment only beginning at 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday, May 20. Restaurants, bars, taprooms and craft breweries may also apply to expand outdoor seating capacity to safely serve additional customers when the businesses reopen next month. Applications to expand outdoor seating capacity will be available on Friday, May 22, and expansions would be authorized to begin on June 1.

Delaware retailers and restaurants are scheduled to open their indoor spaces at 30 percent of stated fire capacity during Phase 1 of Delaware’s economic reopening, beginning June 1. The additional interim steps announced on Tuesday will give retailers and restaurants additional new ways to safely expand their operations by appointment and outdoors. 

 “This is another step forward in the rolling reopening of Delaware’s economy,” said Governor Carney. “It’s our hope that these additional steps will safely bring some relief to Delaware businesses and workers who have made real financial sacrifices during this COVID-19 crisis. But as we reopen, Delawareans should stay vigilant. Keep your distance from others. Wear a face covering in public settings. Wash or sanitize your hands frequently. That’s how we’ll limit community spread of COVID-19 and get Delaware’s economy back going again.”

Retail establishments covered by Tuesday’s announcement – including but not limited to clothing and shoe stores, used merchandise retailers and florists – may accept two appointments per half hour and must adhere to strict social distancing and cleaning guidance from the Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Under Tuesday’s order, all Delaware food and drink establishments may apply to their local municipal or county jurisdiction to expand their outdoor seating capacity. Plans for adding outdoor capacity must consider local traffic patterns and noise ordinances. Boundaries must be clearly defined to prevent beverages from being carried offsite. Applicants that hold a liquor license must also have their plans reviewed by the Office of Alcoholic Beverage Control prior to receiving approval.

For additional details about Delaware’s economic reopening, visit de.gov/economy. Application details will be available on the site starting Friday. 

Anyone with a question about COVID-19, whether related to medical or social service needs, should call Delaware 2-1-1. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing can text their ZIP code to 898-211. Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

 Health or medically-related COVID-19 questions can also be submitted by email at DPHCall@delaware.gov.

 DPH will continue to update the public as more information becomes available. For the latest on Delaware’s response, go to de.gov/coronavirus.


May 18, 2020

Governor John Carney on Monday issued updated guidance for churches and other houses of worship in Delaware. The guidance – created in coordination with the Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) and the Delaware Council of Faith-Based Partnerships – encourages virtual services but expands the ability for churches and other houses of worship to conduct in-person services with restrictions.  This is the eighteenth modification to his State of Emergency declaration.Gatherings must be limited to 30 percent of stated fire code occupancy. Strict social distancing must be maintained. High-risk Delawareans, including those over 65-years-old, and anyone who is sick should not attend in-person services. Anyone 13-years-old or older must wear a face covering. Children 2-years-old and younger should not wear a face covering due to risk of suffocation.Read Delaware’s full guidance for churches and other houses of worship.Read Governor Carney’s latest modification to the State of Emergency Declaration. “All of Delaware’s restrictions – including those inside our churches and other houses of worship – are intended to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and save lives,” said Governor Carney. “I know it’s difficult. Practicing your faith is a fundamental right. But Delawareans who are at higher risk should not attend in-person services. Do your best to practice your faith virtually. Wear a cloth face covering if you attend an in-person service. Remain at least six feet away from others. Wash or sanitize your hands frequently. Now’s not the time for Delawareans to let up.”Service or gathering times must be staggered to permit cleaning of public spaces between services, in accordance with guidance from DPH and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Exchange of materials of any kind during services is strongly discouraged. Baptisms, weddings and funerals are permitted if the services can follow precautions in the updated guidance.Under Governor Carney’s stay-at-home order, churches and other houses of worship are essential, but must adhere to basic safety precautions to protect congregants from COVID-19 infection and transmission.Anyone with a question about COVID-19, whether related to medical or social service needs, should call Delaware 2-1-1. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing can text their ZIP code to 898-211. Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.Health or medically-related COVID-19 questions can also be submitted by email at DPHCall@delaware.gov.DPH will continue to update the public as more information becomes available. For the latest on Delaware’s response, go to de.gov/coronavirus.


May 14, 2020

Governor John Carney on Thursday announced that the State of Delaware will lift restrictions on Delaware beaches and community pools at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, May 22, subject to strict social distancing requirements and other restrictions. Ice cream shops and trucks will reopen with restrictions effective 5:00 p.m. this Friday, May 15.  This is the seventeenth modification to his State of Emergency declaration.

Governor Carney made the announcement after consultation with public health experts at the Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) and mayors of Delaware’s beach towns. Delaware’s mandatory 14-day quarantine for out-of-state travelers and ban on short term rentals will remain in effect. Non-Delawareans who have been in Delaware for at least 14 days will be permitted to use the beaches.

Strict social distancing and hygiene requirements will accompany the reopening of Delaware’s beaches. Beachgoers must maintain at least 6 feet of distance between themselves and anyone outside their household. Face coverings must be worn on the boardwalk and are encouraged on the beach. Restaurants and bars are still limited to delivery and take-out services only.

The full list of requirements and recommendations for beach towns and beachgoers is available below.

Click here for DPH guidance on reopening public and community swimming pools.

“Summer at the beach and the pool is a huge part of life for so many Delawareans. As we ease our way into a new normal, we’re trying to find ways for Delawareans to enjoy the outdoors and the company of their families,” said Governor Carney. “I want to be very clear to our friends who want to travel here from outside the state. While we hope one day soon to be able to welcome you to our beaches, that time has not yet come. We need to reopen Delaware in a controlled way that doesn’t put anyone at risk.”

“I cannot emphasize strongly enough that during this everyone must continue to keep a six foot distance from others, and to wear face coverings when out, even when going to enjoy activities permitted under these limited re-opening conditions,” said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. “It’s incredibly important that everyone exercise common sense and follow the restrictions so we don’t have a re-resurgence in cases of COVID-19 and are forced to tighten them again.”

Under Thursday’s announcement, community pools in Delaware may reopen at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, May 22, but are limited to 20 percent of regular capacity. Swim lessons or practices of swim teams are not permitted. Ice cream stores and trucks may reopen for take-out or curbside pick-up with strict social distancing measures at 5:00 p.m. this Friday, May 15. Children under 12-years-old must be accompanied by an adult.

“With the restrictions being lifted for our beaches, pools and ice cream shops, it is critical that we all continue to act as if we already have coronavirus,” said Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) Secretary Dr. Kara Odom Walker, a practicing family physician. “We need to remain at least 6 feet away from non-family members, wear a face covering in public, wash our hands often, wipe down commonly used surfaces, and cough and sneeze into our face coverings or elbows. Preventing flare-ups of COVID-19 is our shared responsibility. It is the only way we will protect ourselves and our neighbors.”

Beaches at Cape Henlopen, Delaware Seashore and Fenwick Island state parks may limit capacity to vehicles to enforce social distancing. Governor Carney announced Thursday that current surf fishing restrictions on the number of individuals allowed per vehicle has been lifted – if all individuals in the vehicle are from the same household.

Surf fishing access may also be limited to enforce social distancing and avoid overcrowding.

“Our state park beaches are always popular places for people to get fresh air, exercise and create memorable experiences, but the restrictions have been critical to keep us all safe. As we allow increased beach activities, we urge Delawareans to avoid crowds and maintain at least six feet from others on and off the sand,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn Garvin. “We will be using entrance and parking restrictions to manage capacity. We’re trying to provide opportunities for Delawareans to continue to enjoy our state parks, but it is not back to normal by any stretch.”

To enforce the out-of-state quarantine as Delaware beaches reopen, Delaware State Police will station troopers at routes typically used by out-of-state travelers. Travelers will be stopped, asked a series of questions, and given information about the 14-day quarantine requirement under Governor Carney’s State of Emergency declaration. Violations of the emergency declaration, or any of its modifications, constitute a criminal offense.

Local officials also are encouraged to limit capacity on their beaches to prevent overcrowding and potential spread of COVID-19.

“The Delaware State Police will continue to enforce the laws of the State of Delaware, to include those associated with the 14-day quarantine requirement for out-of-state travelers,” said Colonel Nathaniel McQueen Jr., Superintendent-Delaware State Police. “Our emphasis and goal in enforcing the orders, specifically in regards to the travel restrictions, is to achieve voluntary compliance through education and awareness. The health and well-being of our Troopers, as well as the community, will remain our top priority as we continue to serve and protect, during this unprecedented event.”

Beach towns and beachgoers will be subject to certain restrictions as Delaware beaches reopen effective 5:00 p.m. on Friday, May 22.

Towns must:

  • Clean bathrooms, boardwalk railings, benches multiple times per day
  • Close arcade games on boardwalk
  • Demarcate (using tape, cones, etc.) 6 feet intervals in front of certain retail on boardwalks where lines are likely to form, entrances to the beach, or any other area where congregating or waiting in lines is likely to occur
  • Identify enforcement teams

Towns are recommended to:

  • Implement systems to limit capacity (like timed or day passes) on the beach
  • Limit parking spaces
  • Limit access points
  • Designate Beach Ambassadors to educate beachgoers about social distancing and serve as liaisons to law enforcement
  • Station Beach Ambassadors at access points

Regulations for beachgoers:

  • Face coverings are required on boardwalk and encouraged on the beach
  • Members of different households must remain 6 feet apart at all times
  • Individuals with underlying health conditions or who are over 65-years-old should continue to shelter in place.
  • Avoid water fountains.

Regulations for on-premise beach vendors:

  • Food and beverage concession vendors must follow restaurant regulations and may only provide take-out or delivery service. Vendors must wear face coverings. Customers must be 6 feet apart while waiting in line.
  • The rental of items like umbrellas, chairs, mats, kayaks, etc. are allowed so long as the vendor properly disinfects between each use/rental.

Anyone with a question about COVID-19, whether related to medical or social service needs, should call Delaware 2-1-1. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing can text their ZIP code to 898-211. Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Health or medically-related COVID-19 questions can also be submitted by email at DPHCall@delaware.gov.

DPH will continue to update the public as more information becomes available. For the latest on Delaware’s response, go to de.gov/coronavirus.

May 10, 2020

Governor John Carney on Sunday signed the sixteenth modification to his State of Emergency declaration, suspending end-of-year evaluations for educators, professional development requirements and assessments due to the suspension of the school year caused by COVID-19.

Governor Carney’s latest modification holds Delaware’s students and educators harmless for the shortened school year, also waiving the required learning hours for students and teacher days. School districts and charter schools must still complete remote learning plans submitted to the Delaware Department of Education.

Read Governor Carney’s latest modification to the State of Emergency Declaration.

“Students and educators across our state, especially our 2020 senior class, have been significantly affected by this COVID-19 crisis,” said Governor Carney. “These changes in our latest modification will make sure students and educators are not punished because of the shortened school year. Thank you to all of Delaware’s students, educators and school leaders who have really leaned into remote learning during this challenging, unusual time. We are making progress in our fight against COVID-19. But Delawareans can’t let up. Don’t go out in public unnecessarily. Wear a face covering when you need to go out. Wash your hands. Cover your cough. Disinfect surfaces frequently. And stay informed at de.gov/coronavirus.”

Due to extreme hardships that commercial anchored grill net fishers have faced due to COVID-19, Governor Carney’s modification on Sunday also extends the season closing date for the use of anchored grill nets from today, May 10, to midnight on June 1.

Anyone with a question about COVID-19, whether related to medical or social service needs, should call Delaware 2-1-1. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing can text their ZIP code to 898-211. Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Questions can also be submitted by email at DPHCall@delaware.gov.

The Delaware Division of Public Health will continue to update the public as more information becomes available. For the latest on Delaware’s response, go to de.gov/coronavirus.


May 7, 2020

Governor John Carney on Thursday signed the fifteenth modification to his State of Emergency declaration, rescheduling Delaware’s presidential primary for July 7. The Delaware Department of Elections will mail absentee ballot applications to all registered Democrats and Republicans in the State of Delaware, providing all eligible registered Delaware voters the opportunity to vote by absentee ballot in the presidential primary election. 

Governor Carney’s updated order also formalizes interim steps announced on Tuesday, allowing certain small businesses to resume limited operations effective 8:00 a.m. on Friday, May 8.

Read Governor Carney’s updated order.

“Delawareans have a basic, fundamental right to vote, and these changes will allow all Delaware voters to safely exercise that right,” said Governor Carney. “We are making progress. Delawareans have helped flatten the curve by staying home, and by practicing social distancing when you’re out in public. But this fight isn’t over.  Don’t go out in public unnecessarily, and wear a face covering when you do. Wash your hands often. Delawareans should stay vigilant, and stay informed at de.gov/coronavirus.”

Eligible Delaware voters will be permitted to select the “sick” or “temporarily or permanently physically disabled” options on their absentee ballot application to cast a vote in the presidential primary election, even if they are not exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19. Voters must return the application to the Delaware Department of Elections or complete the process online to receive an absentee ballot. The Delaware Department of Elections will operate at least six polling places in each county to allow voters to cast ballots in person should they choose not to vote by absentee ballot. 

Governor Carney’s order on Thursday also reschedules school board elections for July 21, and places additional requirements on municipalities that are conducting elections. The order requires districts and municipalities to enforce social distancing during elections, require face coverings, and limit crowds to 10 or fewer people at polling places. 

Governor Carney’s State of Emergency declaration – including the stay-at-home order and mandatory 14-day quarantine for out-of-state travelers – remains in place and carries the force and effect of law. Violations of the order, or any of its modifications, constitute a criminal offense. 

Anyone with a question about COVID-19, whether related to medical or social service needs, should call Delaware 2-1-1; or 7-1-1 for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. Or text your ZIP code to 898-211. Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. 

Questions can also be submitted by email at DPHCall@delaware.gov.

DPH will continue to update the public as more information becomes available. For the latest on Delaware’s response, go to de.gov/coronavirus.


April 30, 2020

Governor John Carney on Thursday issued the fourteenth modification to his State of Emergency declaration, providing additional protections for Delaware renters during the COVID-19 pandemic, and extending the application deadline for Delaware’s Senior School Property Tax Credit Program until June 1. 

Click here to read the full text of Governor Carney’s fourteenth modification.

“We still face a very serious situation with COVID-19 in Delaware, especially in hot spot areas along the Route 113 corridor in Sussex County,” said Governor Carney. “Delawareans should stay home unless you need to go out for essential work or essential items. Wear a cloth face covering in public settings. Wash your hands and disinfect surfaces frequently. Continue to take this threat seriously and stay informed at de.gov/coronavirus. We’ll get through this by working together.”

Governor Carney’s State of Emergency declaration has the full force and effect of law. Delaware’s stay-at-home order, and mandatory quarantine for out-of-state travelers, remain in place. Violations of the emergency declaration, or any of its modifications, constitute a criminal offense. 

Delawareans with questions about COVID-19, related to medical or social service needs, should call 2-1-1; or 7-1-1 for individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday; and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the weekends. Questions may also be submitted by email at DPHCall@delaware.gov.

The Delaware Division of Public Health will continue to update the public as more information becomes available. For the latest on Delaware’s response, visit: de.gov/coronavirus.       


April 25, 2020

Governor John Carney on Saturday issued the thirteenth modification to his State of Emergency declaration, requiring Delawareans to wear face coverings in public settings, including in grocery stores, convenience stores, pharmacies, doctor’s offices, and on public transportation.

Governor Carney’s order does not require children aged 12 or younger to wear a face covering. Any child 2-years-old or younger MUST NOT wear a face covering, due to the risk of suffocation.

Read Governor Carney’s modified order, which is effective 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday, April 28.

Click here for resources about face coverings.

“Now is not the time for Delawareans to get complacent,” said Governor Carney. “We face a very serious situation, with additional cases of COVID-19 and hospitalizations statewide. All of our actions are guided by science, and intended to save lives. Wearing a face covering in public settings is important to prevent transmission of this disease. But wearing a face covering is not permission to go out in public more often. Delawareans should stay home unless it’s absolutely necessary to go out for essential work or essential items. Don’t go out in public unnecessarily. You will only increase your risk – and the risk to your family, friends, and neighbors.”

Under Governor Carney’s modified order, businesses must also take certain steps to keep their employees and customers safe.

By 8:00 a.m. on Friday, May 1, businesses must:

  • Require employees to wear a face covering while working in areas open to the public and in areas where coming within 6 feet of other staff is likely.
  • Provide, at the business’ expense, face coverings and hand sanitizer for their employees.
  • Deny entry to individuals who do not have a face covering – or if one is not available for them.
  • If any business denying entry is providing medication, medical supplies, or food, the business must provide alternate methods of pickup or delivery.

Delawareans are urged to use cloth face coverings and reserve medical-grade masks for use by health care workers and first responders. Medical-grade masks include N95, KN95, surgical, or other masks that would be appropriate for a health care setting.
Delawareans wearing a face covering should practice strict hand-washing before and after touching the face covering, according to the Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH). Face coverings are not a replacement for washing hands, practicing physical distancing, and staying home. Delawareans who are sick should wear a face covering over their nose and mouth if they must be around other people – even while at home.

“Wearing a face covering is not a substitute for existing guidance around hand-washing and social distancing,” said Dr. Karyl Rattay, Director of the Delaware Division of Public Health. “Delawareans should stay at home whenever possible, only leaving for essential activities. Wash your hands. Keep 6-10 feet between yourself and others.”

Governor Carney’s State of Emergency has the full force and effect of law. The stay-at-home order, and mandatory quarantine for out-of-state travelers, remain in place. Violations of the emergency order, or any of its modifications, constitute a criminal offense.

Delawareans with questions about COVID-19, related to medical or social service needs, should call 2-1-1; or 7-1-1 for individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday; and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the weekends. Questions may also be submitted by email at DPHCall@delaware.gov.

DPH will continue to update the public as more information becomes available. For the latest on Delaware’s response, visit: de.gov/coronavirus.


April 23, 2020

Governor John Carney on Thursday issued the twelfth modification to his State of Emergency declaration, which will allow the Public Health Authority to activate more out-of-state health care workers to assist in Delaware’s fight against COVID-19.       

Read Governor Carney’s updated State of Emergency.

Subject to certain restrictions, the modified declaration allows individuals who previously held a license to practice medicine in any United States jurisdiction, to provide healthcare services on a volunteer basis in Delaware when authorized by the Public Health Authority. The provider must be appropriately trained, and their license must have been in good standing for a five-year period before it expired or lapsed.

The modification also limits restrictions on pharmacists, respiratory therapists, physician assistants, paramedics, emergency medical technician, and nurses, allowing them to assist in Delaware’s response to COVID-19 under all the same conditions.

Out-of-state providers must register with the Medical Reserve Corps to volunteer in Delaware.

“Delaware’s fight against COVID-19 is far from over,” said Governor Carney. “We owe a real debt of gratitude to our front line health care workers and emergency responders. They have been risking their own health and safety to protect Delawareans and save lives. This updated declaration will allow even more health care workers to assist in Delaware’s response. Our message for Delawareans remains the same. Stay home unless you need to go out for essential work or an essential items like groceries, or a prescription. Going out in public unnecessarily not only increases your risk, but it increases the risk for your family, friends, and neighbors. We’ll get through this by working together.”

The modification Governor Carney signed on Thursday afternoon also facilitates the issuance of marriage licenses by allowing the parties to communicate by video conference. And it allows state agencies and members of the public additional time to consider rules and regulations, giving agencies discretion to extend public comment periods for 30 days from the date the State of Emergency is rescinded.

Governor Carney’s State of Emergency has the full force and effect of law. The stay-at-home order, and mandatory quarantine for out-of-state travelers, remain in place. Violations of the emergency order, or any of its modifications, constitute a criminal offense.

Delawareans with questions about COVID-19, related to medical or social service needs, should call 2-1-1; or 7-1-1 for individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday; and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the weekends. Questions may also be submitted by email at DPHCall@delaware.gov.

DPH will continue to update the public as more information becomes available. For the latest on Delaware’s response, visit: de.gov/coronavirus.       


April 15, 2020

Governor John Carney on Wednesday issued the eleventh modification to his State of Emergency declaration, requiring stricter guidelines to prevent COVID-19 infections in nursing facilities and other long-term care facilities.

Click here for Governor Carney’s eleventh modification to the State of Emergency.

Governor Carney’s updated emergency order requires nursing facilities to immediately ensure they are in full compliance with the Public Health Authority guidance related to COVID-19. Nursing facilities must check Division of Public Health (DPH) guidance at least daily to ensure they are complying with the most current guidance and adjust their policies, procedures, and protocols accordingly.

“Our elderly populations, and especially Delawareans in long-term care facilities, are at very high risk for COVID-19 infection and hospitalization. These stricter measures that we’re issuing today are intended to save lives,” said Governor Carney. “All Delawareans should do their part to protect their neighbors, friends, and family members – especially those who are immunocompromised. We know the weather is getting nicer. But continue to stay at home. Don’t go out in public unnecessarily. You’ll only increase the risk for everyone. We’ll get through this. But we need to keep working together.”

Governor Carney’s order requires all nursing facilities in Delaware to immediately:

  • Establish a cohort of staff who are assigned to care for known or suspected COVID-19 residents.
  • Designate a room, unit, or floor of the nursing facility as a separate observation area where newly-admitted and re-admitted residents are kept for 14 days on, while being observed every shift for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. 
  • Designate a room, unit, or floor of the nursing facility to care for residents with known or suspected COVID-19.

Returning residents to their nursing facility remains a priority, according to Tuesday’s order. Residents who have been admitted or seen at a hospital for COVID-19 shall be allowed to return to the nursing facility – as long as the facility follows approved measures from the Division of Public Health (DPH) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

If nursing facility residents must temporarily go to other facilities, every effort must be made to transfer the residents back to their original facility as soon as possible. A negative COVID-19 test shall not be required prior to return to a nursing facility.

Additionally, Governor Bacon Health Center (GBHC) will serve as a non-acute alternate care site for patients who are discharged from the hospital, have some Activities of Daily Living needs, and are unable to return to their homes in the community or in a long-term care facility due to caregiver or staffing challenges. As previously announced, GBHC is one of the tools the state will use to ensure that critical care beds are available to people who need hospitalization and intensive treatment for COVID-19 infections.

Governor Carney’s State of Emergency declaration and its eleven modifications – including the stay-at-home order for Delawareans and mandatory 14-day quarantine for out-of-state travelers – remain in effect and carry the full force and effect of law. 

Violations of an emergency declaration are a criminal offense.

Delawareans with questions about COVID-19, related to medical or social service needs, should call 2-1-1; or 7-1-1 for individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday; and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the weekends. Questions may also be submitted by email at DPHCall@delaware.gov. 

DPH will continue to update the public as more information becomes available. For the latest on Delaware’s response, visit: de.gov/coronavirus.       


April 6, 2020

Governor John Carney on Monday issued the tenth modification to his State of Emergency declaration, banning all short-term rental units – including vacation home rentals, hotels, motels, and condo rentals – to help fight the spread of COVID-19.

Commercial lodging in Delaware will remain closed through May 15, or until the public health threat is eliminated. The order exempts certain Delawareans and essential workers who may need access to short-term rental units. That list of exemptions includes caretakers with family members nearby, health care providers, journalists, and Delawareans with public housing vouchers.

Victims of domestic violence who need alternative shelter also are exempted.

Monday’s order places additional restrictions on businesses, banning door-to-door solicitation and closing pawn shops, video game stores, and other electronics retailers.

Click here to read the full text of Governor Carney’s tenth modification.

Governor Carney’s updated order takes effect at 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 7.

“All of Delaware’s restrictions are intended to prevent a surge in cases, preserve our hospital capacity, and save lives,” said Governor Carney. “This is not the time for a vacation or tax-free shopping in Delaware. Delawareans also should not go out in public unnecessarily. Stay safe. Stay home. Protect your neighbors. We’ll get through this – but it’s going to take all of us.”

Governor Carney’s emergency order, including its modifications, have the force and effect of law. Failure to comply constitutes a criminal offense. State and local law enforcement agencies are authorized to enforce the provisions of the State of Emergency.

Delaware employers with questions about how they may be impacted can email covid19FAQ@delaware.gov, or call (302) 577-8477 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Emails are encouraged due to potentially high call volume.

Delawareans with general questions about COVID-19 or their exposure risk can call the Division of Public Health’s Coronavirus Call Center at 211, or 711 for individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Questions can also be submitted by email at DPHCall@delaware.gov. DPH will continue to update the public as more information becomes available. For the latest on Delaware’s response, visit de.gov/coronavirus.

Hotel Essential Q&A


April 1, 2020

Governor John Carney on Wednesday signed the ninth modification to his State of Emergency declaration, further limiting public gatherings and ordering essential businesses to take specific steps to enforce social distancing and fight the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID19).

Governor Carney’s modified emergency order limits public gatherings to 10 people through May 15, or until the public health threat has been eliminated. For the purposes of the order, public gatherings include weddings, funerals, and related activities.

The order also requires new action from businesses that remain open. Under Governor Carney’s modified emergency order, businesses must:

  • Allow no more than 20 percent of stated fire capacity in the store at any given time – and no more than 10 percent during exclusive hours for high-risk populations.
  • Clearly mark six-foot spacing in check-out lines and other high-traffic areas, including outside.
  • Discontinue any self-serve foods, or product sampling.
  • Designate staff to enforce the number of people coming into the store and enforce limits.

“We will take action to enforce these restrictions if Delawareans, visitors, and businesses don’t comply voluntarily,” said Governor Carney. “Our goal is to save lives. This is a serious situation and we need everyone to cooperate. Don’t go out in public unnecessarily. If you need to go out, stay away from others. Wash your hands and follow basic hygiene guidance. We’ll get through this, but it’s going to take all of us.”

Read the full text of Wednesday’s order.

Governor Carney’s order will take effect at 8:00 p.m. Thursday, April 2.

Governor Carney’s emergency declaration has the force and effect of law. Any failure to comply with the provisions contained in a Declaration of a State of Emergency or any modification to a Declaration of the State of Emergency constitutes a criminal offense.

Delawareans with general questions about COVID-19 or their exposure risk can call the Division of Public Health’s Coronavirus Call Center at 1-866-408-1899, or 711 for individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Questions can also be submitted by email at DPHCall@delaware.gov.  

DPH will continue to update the public as more information becomes available. For the latest on Delaware’s response, go to de.gov/coronavirus.  


March 30, 2020

Governor John Carney on Monday signed the eighth modification to his State of Emergency declaration, which allows child care programs in Delaware to be designated as emergency child care sites in an effort to assist essential personnel during the coronavirus crisis.

Starting April 6 and continuing until the State of Emergency is lifted, child care may only be provided by child care centers and child care homes that have been designated as “Emergency Child Care Sites” by the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families (DSCYF). In order to be an emergency child care site, child care centers and homes must certify that they are only providing child care to children of personnel working for essential businesses, as defined by Governor Carney’s State of Emergency, and cannot work from home.

“We are doing everything we can to prevent a spike in coronavirus cases that could overwhelm our hospital system, and health care workers are on the front lines of Delaware’s response,” said Governor Carney. “This new order will make sure Delaware’s health care workers and other first responders can stay at work, and keep our communities healthy, by providing them access to emergency child care services. We need all Delawareans to do their part. Stay at home. Don’t go out in public unnecessarily. Wash your hands. Stay informed. We’ll get through this – but we all need to do our part.”

The order also allows DSCYF to create a process by which families can enroll their children in designated emergency child care if their current child care facility temporarily closes. DSCYF worked with the Delaware Division of Public Health to create strict health and safety guidelines to help child care providers prepare their facilities. Before being designated as an emergency child care site by DSCYF, a provider must demonstrate that they are able to and will adhere to the following requirements developed by the Office of Child Care Licensing and the Division of Public Health.

Interested providers must submit an emergency child care site application online by April 3. As of April 6, all other child care facilities must close until the end of the Governor’s State of Emergency.

“We are extremely grateful for the child care providers that are able to keep their doors open and make it possible for those providing essential services to serve Delawareans during this public health emergency.  During this time, child care workers, like other essential personnel, are on the front lines adapting, adjusting and working to help Delaware get through this crisis. Our child care workers keep our children safe every single day, and now, they must do so under very difficult circumstances. We cannot thank them enough and we will continue to work with them during this time,” said Delaware Children’s Department Secretary Josette Manning.

Child care providers and caregivers should check coronavirus.delaware.gov/child-care/ in the coming days for information on how to apply to be an emergency child care site, what the requirements are in order to comply with the designation and how to certify essential personnel status and temporarily enroll children.

Also under Monday’s order, state buildings and essential businesses that Delaware’s Public Health Authority deems high-risk shall screen every employee, visitor and member of the public upon entering. Delaware’s Public Health Authority shall develop and publicly post the screening tool to be used by high-risk essential businesses. All state buildings and essential businesses shall display signage that cautions individuals experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 not to enter the premises.

Also, all hospitals, nursing and residential facilities, and ambulatory health care services in Delaware, as categorized by the Division of Small Business, shall comply with the Public Health Authority’s guidance for the use of Personal Protective Equipment.

Delawareans with questions about COVID-19 or their exposure risk can call the Division of Public Health’s Coronavirus Call Center at 1-866-408-1899, or 711 for people who are hearing impaired, from 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Delawareans can also email DPHCall@delaware.gov.

For the latest on Delaware’s response, visit de.gov/coronavirus.


March 29, 2020

Governor John Carney on Sunday signed the seventh modification to his State of Emergency declaration, ordering all out-of-state travelers into Delaware to immediately self-quarantine for 14 days to fight the spread of COVID-19.

Under Sunday’s order, anyone who enters Delaware from another state must immediately self-quarantine for 14 days. The 14-day period is measured from the time of entry into Delaware or for the duration of the individual’s presence in Delaware, whichever is shorter.

Governor Carney’s order also applies to anyone who has entered Delaware in the last 14 days.

The order does not apply to travelers who are merely passing through Delaware. Anyone who lives out-of-state and commutes to Delaware for essential work is strongly encouraged to work from home.

Sunday’s order does not apply to those traveling to care for members of their family.

Individuals under self-quarantine can leave their homes to seek medical care.

Governor Carney’s order will take effect at 8:00 a.m. on Monday, March 30.

“Now’s not the time to visit Delaware. We’re facing a serious situation here that is getting worse,” said Governor Carney. “Delawareans need to stay at home, and anyone from another state visiting Delaware should immediately self-quarantine for two weeks. Everyone needs to take this threat seriously. Our goal is to limit a surge in COVID-19 cases that would overwhelm our hospital system. We’ll get through this – but everyone needs to pitch in.”

Self-quarantine requires that an individual stay in a quarantine location (home, hotel room or rented lodging); does not go to work, school or public areas; does not use public transportation; separates from other individuals in a residence as much as possible; and avoids sharing personal items.

Everyone should continue to follow basic hygiene guidance from the Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

This self-quarantine requirement shall not apply to public health, public safety, or healthcare workers, or any other individual assisting an essential business or providing an emergency service related to COVID-19.

Sunday’s order has the force and effect of law. Any failure to comply with the provisions contained in a Declaration of a State of Emergency or any modification to a Declaration of the State of Emergency constitutes a criminal offense.

The Delaware Department of Justice (DOJ) has issued guidance to state and local law enforcement with additional details about enforcement of Governor Carney’s emergency declaration. In accordance with Sunday’s order, law enforcement may conduct traffic stops – limited in scope to public health and quarantine questions – on vehicles registered in other states.

Delawareans with general questions about COVID-19 or their exposure risk can call the Division of Public Health’s Coronavirus Call Center at 1-866-408-1899, or 711 for individuals who are hearing-impaired, from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Questions can also be submitted by email at DPHCall@delaware.gov. DPH will continue to update the public as more information becomes available. For the latest on Delaware’s response, go to de.gov/coronavirus.


March 24, 2020

Governor John Carney on Tuesday issued a sixth modification to his State of Emergency declaration, moving Delaware’s presidential primary to June 2, and suspending residential foreclosures and evictions during the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19).

The order goes into effect at 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday, March 25. It will remain in effect until May 15 or until the public health threat is eliminated.

“Delawareans have a basic, fundamental right to vote. Today’s order will preserve that right and allow Delawareans to vote by absentee ballot in the presidential primary on June 2,” said Governor Carney. “The additional protections in this order are essential to help support Delawareans – especially our most vulnerable neighbors – as this situation evolves. This is an extremely challenging economic situation for many of our neighbors, and we need to do what we can to support them.”

Governor Carney’s order prevents landlords from evicting Delawareans from their homes during this crisis. Landlords also may not charge late fees or interest during the State of Emergency.

The order also prevents lenders from commencing foreclosures during this period. Residential mortgage foreclosures that began prior to Governor Carney’s State of Emergency declaration will not move forward until the 31st day following the termination of the Governor’s emergency declaration, at the earliest.

Governor Carney’s order also prevents residential utility service companies from terminating service or charging fees for late payments for services.

Additionally, all elections for school board members in any Delaware school district scheduled for May 12 are delayed until June 16 under Governor Carney’s updated order on Tuesday. The order also states that social distancing due to COVID-19 is a valid reason to vote by absentee ballot.

Delawareans with general questions about COVID-19 or their exposure risk can call the Division of Public Health’s Coronavirus Call Center at 1-866-408-1899, or 711 for individuals who are hearing-impaired, from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Questions can also be submitted by email at DPHCall@delaware.gov.

 DPH will continue to update the public as more information becomes available. For the latest on Delaware’s response, go to de.gov/coronavirus.


March 22, 2020

Governor Carney Issues Stay-at-Home Order for Delawareans

Governor orders non-essential businesses to close at 8 a.m. Tuesday morning

Governor John Carney on Sunday issued the fourth and fifth modifications to his State of Emergency declaration, ordering Delawareans to stay at home whenever possible and closing all non-essential businesses in Delaware to help fight the spread of COVID-19.

The orders go into effect at 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday, March 24, 2020. They will remain in effect until May 15 or until the public health threat is eliminated.

Click here for a full list of essential and non-essential businesses, as defined by Sunday’s order

Click here for answers to frequently asked questions.

Governor Carney will deliver a video briefing at 5 p.m. on the latest COVID-19 updates in Delaware. Click here for a link to the livestream of that briefing.

“This was not an easy decision, but it’s the right decision to protect the safety of Delawareans and Delaware families,” said Governor Carney. “If you have any questions about whether you should be staying home or going out, stay home. Go to work, and go straight back home. If you don’t need food or other essential items, stay home. 

“We’re acting with urgency to prevent a spike in coronavirus cases that could overwhelm our hospital system,” said Governor Carney. “Delawareans cannot go out in public unnecessarily. Wash your hands and disinfect surfaces frequently. Essential businesses that remain open must provide easy access to hand washing stations or sanitizer, enforce social distancing, and provide flexible sick leave policies for their employees. That will reduce our risk and help keep all Delawareans healthy. We’ll get through this, but we all need to pitch in and take this threat seriously.”

Delaware employers with questions about how they may be impacted can email covid19faq@delaware.gov, or call 302-577-8477 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Emails are encouraged due to potentially high call volume.

Early next week, Governor Carney and Delaware public schools will announce next steps on school closures.

Leaving your home is allowed under Governor Carney’s order for essential activities. Delawareans may leave their homes to get groceries, pick up a prescription, see a doctor, and engage in other activities essential to their health, and the health and wellbeing of their family members, including pets. Delawareans may also engage in outdoor activity, but must adhere to social distancing guidelines. Additional details are available in the text of Governor Carney’s order.

Sunday’s order requires essential Delaware businesses to implement flexible and non-punitive sick leave policies for their employees, in accordance with guidance issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH).

Employers must follow social distancing policies, protect high-risk workers, provide hand-washing or sanitizer stations, and follow all health guidelines for internal cleaning. Visitors are not allowed at essential Delaware businesses under Sunday’s order, unless they are providing an essential service.

Government agencies are urged to take steps needed to provide shelter for Delawareans experiencing homelessness, in accordance with CDC guidance. Homeless individuals are otherwise not subject to the shelter in place order.

Delawareans whose homes are unsafe – such as victims of domestic violence – are urged to and seek a safe, alternative residence.

Those at high risk of infection and illness from COVID-19 and Delawareans who are sick are urged to stay in their home except as necessary to seek medical care.

State of Delaware offices will remain open but state employees should telecommute wherever possible, in accordance with guidelines from the Delaware Department of Human Resources. 

As of March 22, there have been 56 total laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Delaware since March 11. Of the Delawareans diagnosed with COVID-19, 39 are from New Castle County, five are from Kent County, and 12 are from Sussex County.  

Delawareans with general questions about COVID-19 or their exposure risk can call the Division of Public Health’s Coronavirus Call Center at 1-866-408-1899, or 711 for individuals who are hearing-impaired, from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Questions can also be submitted by email at DPHCall@delaware.gov. DPH will continue to update the public as more information becomes available. For the latest on Delaware’s response, go to de.gov/coronavirus.


March 21, 2020

Governor John Carney on Saturday issued a third modification to his emergency declaration. The new orders closes Delaware beaches to help slow the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). The public is prohibited from accessing the beach except to exercise or walk their dogs where dogs are permitted. Local officials may choose to enact tighter restrictions.

These modifications go into effect at 5:00 p.m. tonight, March 21, and will last until May 15, or until the public health threat of COVID-19 has been eliminated.

“We need everyone to take this situation seriously. We saw too many people on the beaches yesterday and we weren’t seeing the kind of social distancing that we need in order to slow the spread of coronavirus,” said Governor Carney. “This was a difficult decision, but we need folks to follow the rules to keep all Delawareans safe. Don’t go out in public unnecessarily. Wash your hands and disinfect surfaces frequently. Stay home, especially if you feel sick and even if you have mild symptoms. We will get through this together.”

In the second modification of the emergency declaration issued on March 18, Governor Carney authorized state and local law enforcement to enforce the provision in any State of Emergency. The State of Emergency has the full force and effect of the law, and violations constitute a criminal offense.

During a live COVID-19 update on Wednesday, Dr. Karyl Rattay, Director of the Division of Public Health, answered a question about going outdoors to take a walk. Dr. Rattay explained it is safe to go for walks, but noted is important to keep distance from others.

There have been 40 total laboratory-confirmed cases in Delaware since March 11. This includes nine additional cases announced yesterday. Of the Delawareans diagnosed with COVID-19, 28 are from New Castle County, five are from Kent County, and seven are from Sussex County.

Delawareans with general questions about COVID-19 or their exposure risk can call the Division of Public Health’s Coronavirus Call Center at 1-866-408-1899, or 711 for individuals who are hearing-impaired, from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Questions can also be submitted by email at DPHCall@delaware.gov.

DPH will continue to update the public as more information becomes available. For the latest on Delaware’s response, go to de.gov/coronavirus.


March 16, 2020

Governor Carney Limits Restaurants to Take-Out and Delivery

Updated emergency declaration also bans gatherings of 50+ people statewide, and closes gaming in Delaware casinos

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney on Monday modified his March 12 emergency declaration to limit Delaware restaurants, taverns and bars to take-out and delivery service only to help prevent spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Governor Carney’s updated emergency declaration — which takes effect at 8:00 p.m. tonight, March 16 — also bans public gatherings of 50 or more people, consistent with  updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and closes gaming activity at Delaware casinos.

 Monday’s modification to Governor Carney’s emergency declaration also gives Delaware’s Secretary of Labor authorization to develop emergency rules to protect Delaware workers and ensure that unemployment benefits are available for Delawareans whose jobs are affected by the coronavirus outbreak.  

 “These restrictions will hit Delaware’s restaurants and bars especially hard,” said Governor Carney. “Delawareans should continue to support these businesses, and their workers, by ordering take-out or delivery. Restaurants also remain a critical source of food for vulnerable populations. But this is a very serious situation, with a significant amount of uncertainty. If you gather with 50 people or more, you are only increasing the risk that more Delawareans will come in contact with this virus. Let’s not make a challenging situation worse.”

 On Thursday, March 12, Governor Carney issued a State of Emergency declaration to mobilize state resources to prepare for the spread of coronavirus across Delaware.  

 Delawareans with questions about COVID-19 or their exposure risk can call the Division of Public Health’s Coronavirus Call Center at 1-866-408-1899 or 711 for people who are hearing impaired from 8:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, or email DPHCall@delaware.gov. For the latest on Delaware’s response, go to de.gov/coronavirus.


March 12, 2020

Governor Carney Declares State of Emergency to Prepare for Spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) 

Emergency declaration allows for broad coordination of state agencies to respond to outbreak 

Governor John Carney on Thursday issued a  State of Emergency declaration to prepare for the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19). The State of Emergency directs the Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA) and the Delaware Department of Health & Social Services’ Division of Public Health to mobilize state agency resources to assist with Delaware’s response to the virus.

The declaration becomes effective at 8:00 a.m. on Friday, March 13, 2020.

Governor Carney’s emergency declaration also:

  • Requires the Delaware National Guard to take precautionary and responsive actions to assist with Delaware’s response to the coronavirus;
  • Advises event organizers in Delaware to cancel non-essential public gatherings of 100 people or more, to prevent community spread of coronavirus;
  • Allows the State of Delaware to conduct public meetings electronically to prevent unnecessary public gatherings;
  • Prohibits price gouging, or an excessive price increase of goods or services, during the coronavirus outbreak.

“We are taking this situation extremely seriously,” said Governor Carney. “We have been expecting positive cases in Delaware, and for the last two months we have prepared our state’s response in close coordination with the experts at the Delaware Division of Public Health and the Delaware Emergency Management Agency. Today’s emergency declaration will make sure we have the authority and resources necessary to effectively prevent the spread of this virus.

“There are things every Delawarean can do to stay healthy. Wash your hands. Cover your cough. Stay home from work or school if you are sick. It’s especially important for at-risk populations, specifically elderly Delawareans, to avoid large gatherings. And we’re advising Delaware organizations to cancel large, non-essential public events to prevent community spread of the coronavirus. We will continue to respond aggressively to this situation in close coordination with state and federal public health experts.”

Governor Carney’s emergency declaration WILL NOT:

  • Require businesses to close their facilities;
  • Implement any driving restrictions in Delaware;
  • Close state office buildings.

On Wednesday, Governor Carney and the Delaware Department of Human Resources  issued guidance to state employees about coronavirus and potential impacts on the state workforce. Full-time and casual/seasonal state employees may be eligible for 14 or 30 days of Paid Emergency Leave if they are forced to miss work due to a coronavirus impact, or to care for a family member.

Costs related to diagnostic testing for coronavirus (COVID-19) will be waived for Delaware families who are covered by the state’s health plan.

Delawareans with questions about COVID-19 or their exposure risk can call the Division of Public Health’s Coronavirus Call Center at 1-866-408-1899 or TTY at 1-800-232-5460 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, or email DPHCall@delaware.gov.

For the latest on Delaware’s response, visit  de.gov/coronavirus.