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State of Emergency Declaration’s

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.