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Posted on: March 12, 2020

COVID-19 UPDATE

Updated:  March 23, 2020

FIFTH MODIFICATION OF THE DECLARATION OF A STATE OF EMERGENCY FOR THE

STATE OF DELAWARE DUE TO A PUBLIC HEALTH THREAT

 WHEREAS, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) has determined that a novel coronavirus (“COVID-19”) presents a serious public health threat; and

WHEREAS, on March 12, 2020 at 3:00 p.m. E.D.T., I issued a Declaration of a State of Emergency due to the public health threat of COVID-19, which became effective as of 8:00 a.m.

E.D.T. on March 13, 2020; and

WHEREAS, on March 16, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. E.D.T., I issued the First Modification of the Declaration of a State of Emergency to advise that the CDC issued new guidance for large events and mass gatherings, including conferences, social events, concerts and other types of assemblies; and

WHEREAS, on March 18, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. E.D.T., I issued the Second Modification of the Declaration of a State of Emergency to further restrict events and gatherings; to restrict food service to only take-out or delivery; to close casinos, bowling alleys, concert venues, movie theaters, sports facilities, fitness centers and health spas; to ensure additional precautions in nursing homes, retirement facilities, or assisted-living facilities; to promote authority to the Delaware

Emergency Management Agency and the Division of Public Health to cancel any gatherings for public health reasons; to authorize the Secretary of Labor to develop emergency rules relating to unemployment insurance; to address requirements for telemedicine services; and to address the sale of alcoholic beverages; and

WHEREAS, on March 21, 2020 at 12:00 p.m. E.D.T., I issued the Third Modification of the Declaration of a State of Emergency to close all Delaware beaches, except to persons using the beaches for exercise or to walk their dogs, subject to certain precautions recommended by the CDC on COVID-19, which became effective as of 5:00 p.m. E.D.T.; and

WHEREAS, on March 22, 2020 at 4:00 p.m. E.D.T., I issued the Fourth Modification of the Declaration of a State of Emergency; and

WHEREAS, because of the risk of the rapid spread of the virus, and the need to protect all Delaware citizens, especially health care providers and citizens most vulnerable to the virus, additional efforts are needed to mitigate community spread of COVID-19; and

WHEREAS, it is critical to ensure that law enforcement and public and private health resources not be unnecessarily diverted from responding to COVID-19-related issues and maintaining public safety and health; and

WHEREAS, Delawareans should refrain from organizing or attending social gatherings of any size, except for regular interactions with immediate family members, members of the same household, caregivers, or individuals with whom you have a close personal relationship; and

WHEREAS, requiring all individuals located in Delaware to shelter in place—that is, to stay at home or at their place of residence—except with respect to certain essential activities and to work to provide essential business and government services, is in the interests of preserving public safety and health and limiting community spread of COVID-19.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOHN C. CARNEY, pursuant to Title 20, Chapter 31 of the Delaware Code, do hereby declare that the Declaration of a State of Emergency, as modified through the First Modification, the Second Modification, the Third Modification, and the Fourth Modification shall remain in effect until further notice, with the following modifications:

  • Shelter in place of residenceEffective March 24, 2020 at 8:00 a.m. E.D.T., with the


exceptions as outlined below, all individuals currently living within the State of Delaware are ordered to shelter in place, at their home or place of residence except as permitted in this Fifth Modification of the Declaration of a State of Emergency. To the extent individuals are using shared or outdoor space when outside their residence, they must at all times and as much as reasonably possible maintain social distancing of at least six feet from any other person, consistent with the Social Distancing Requirements set forth in this Fifth Modification of the Declaration of a State of Emergency and with the guidelines set by the CDC. All persons may leave their homes or places of residence only for Essential Activities or Essential Travel, as defined below.

  • Individuals experiencing homelessness are strongly urged to find shelter, and government agencies are urged to take steps needed to provide shelter for those individuals, in accordance with CDC guidance. Homeless individuals are otherwise not subject to this shelter in place order.

  • Individuals whose residences are unsafe or become unsafe, such as victims of domestic violence, are permitted and urged to leave their homes and stay at a safe alternative home or residence.

  • Individuals at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19 and people who are sick are urged to stay in their residences to the extent possible except as necessary to seek medical care.

 

Nothing in this Fifth Modification of the Declaration of a State of Emergency prevents DEMA from issuing and enforcing isolation and quarantine orders pursuant to 20 Del. C.

§ 3136 or DPH from issuing and enforcing isolation and quarantine orders pursuant to 16 Del. C. § 505.

  • For purposes of this Fifth Modification of the Declaration of a State of Emergency, homes and residences include hotels, motels, shared rental units, shelters and similar facilities.

  • Prohibited and permitted travelAll travel (including, but not limited to, travel on foot,


bicycle, scooter, motorcycle, automobile, and public transit), except Essential Travel or travel for Essential Activities, as defined below, is prohibited. Passengers traveling by public transit must comply with Social Distancing Requirements to the greatest extent feasible.

Leaving your home or residence for Essential Activities is permitted. Individuals may


only leave their residence to carry out Essential Activities or Essential Travel. For purposes of this Order, Essential Activities are defined as follows:

  • To engage in activities or perform tasks essential to their health and safety, or to the health and safety of their family or household members (including, but not limited to, pets), such as, by way of example only and without limitation, obtaining medical supplies or medication, visiting a health care professional, or obtaining supplies they need to work from home.

  • To obtain necessary services or supplies for themselves and their family or household members, or to deliver those services or supplies to others, such as, food supplies, dry goods, pet supplies and any other household consumer products, and

 

products necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences.

  • To engage in outdoor activity, providing the individuals comply with Social Distancing Requirements, as defined below, such as, by way of example and without limitation, walking, running, biking, or fishing. Individuals may go to public parks and open outdoor recreation areas (except beaches, which may be used only as described in my Third Modification of the Declaration of a State of Emergency).

  • To perform work permitted by the Fourth Modification of the Declaration of a State of Emergency.

  • To care for a family member, friend, or pet in another household, and to transport family members, friends, pets, or livestock as allowed by this Order.

  • Leaving your home or residence for Essential Travel is permittedFor the purposes of


this Order, Essential Travel includes travel for any of the purposes set forth in this paragraph. Individuals engaged in any Essential Travel must comply with all Social Distancing Requirements.

  • Any travel related to the provision of or access to Essential Activities or Minimum Basic Operations.

  • Travel to care for elderly persons, minors, dependents, persons with disabilities, other vulnerable persons, pets, or livestock.

  • Travel to or from educational institutions for purposes of receiving materials for distance learning, for receiving meals, and for receiving any other related services.

  • Travel to return to a place of residence in Delaware from outside the jurisdiction.

 

  • Travel required or authorized by a law enforcement officer or court order.


  • Travel required for non-residents to return to their place of residence outside the State.

  • Social distancing measures are requiredFor the purposes of this Order, “Social


Distancing Requirements” include maintaining at least six-foot social distancing from individuals, washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds as frequently as possible or using hand sanitizer, covering coughs or sneezes (not with hands), regularly cleaning high-touch surfaces, and not shaking hands. These requirements incorporate any subsequent guidance from the CDC issued after the issuance of this Order.

  • Minimum Basic OperationsFor the purposes of this Order, Minimum Basic Operations


include the following, provided that employees comply with the Fourth Modification of the Declaration of a State of Emergency and Social Distancing Requirements, to the extent possible, while carrying out such operations:

  • The minimum necessary activities to maintain the value of the business’s inventory, preserve the condition of the business’s physical plant and equipment, ensure security, process payroll and employee benefits, or for related functions.

  • The minimum necessary activities to facilitate employees of the business being able to work remotely or continue to work remotely from their residences.

  • Intent of this OrderThe intent of this Order is to ensure that the maximum number of


people self-isolate in their places of residence to the extent feasible, while enabling essential services to continue, in order to slow the spread of COVID-19 to the maximum extent possible. When people need to leave their places of residence, whether to obtain or perform essential services, or to otherwise facilitate Essential Activities and Minimum

 

Basic Operations necessary for continuity of social and commercial life, they should at all times reasonably possible comply with Social Distancing Requirements. All provisions of this Fifth Modification of the Declaration of a State of Emergency should be interpreted to effectuate this intent.

  • Testing: All COVID-19 testing shall be made available to those persons who meet


criteria for such testing as established and modified from time to time, by the CDC. All health care providers, facilities and entities that decide to offer testing shall make that testing available to any person presenting at the testing site who meets the CDC criteria without regard to that person’s ability to pay, type of health insurance, or participation in any particular provider network. Health care providers shall provide testing to the extent that testing costs are not covered by the payments by individuals and health insurance carriers and will be covered by Delaware’s Health Care Connection Program.

  • EnforcementThis 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 a State of Emergency constitutes a criminal offense. 20 Del. C. §§ 3115 (b); 3116 (9); 3122; 3125. State and local law enforcement agencies are authorized to enforce the provisions of any Declaration of a State of Emergency.



APPROVED this 22d day of March 2020 at 4:02 p.m.


Updated:  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

WILMINGTON, Del. – 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.


Updated:  March 21, 2020

Governor Carney Issues Third Update to State of Emergency

Delaware beaches closed to help slow spread of coronavirus

REHOBOTH, Del. – Governor John Carney on Saturday issued a third modification to his emergency declaration. The new orders close 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.” 

“We fully understand Governor Carney’s decision to close the beaches,” said City of Rehoboth Mayor Paul Kuhns. “This move is for the health and safety for all our citizens.”

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.  

“Governor Carney’s action to close all Delaware beaches sends a vital message to all Delawareans and those who may be thinking of coming here,” said City of Lewes Mayor Ted Becker. “Our beach communities are a very important part of the state’s economy, but they are not equipped to be a safe harbor for those who come from other areas. We urge everyone to shelter in the location of their primary residence.”

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.

Watch video of Dr. Rattay’s response.

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.



Updated:   March 21, 2020

Town of Bethany Beach Meetings and Special Events Cancelled Until Further Notice

Today, Delaware’s Mayors were able to speak to the Governor and other Delaware officials regarding the Governor’s recently declared State of Emergency Declaration regarding the Coronavirus.  Because of the State of Emergency and ever-growing concerns in the state regarding the virus, the Town will be canceling all public meetings for the near future.  All other Town related meetings are canceled until further notice.  Special Events are also canceled at this time until future notice.

Town Hall will remain open at this time.

The Delaware Department of Public Health and the Delaware Emergency Management Agency are the lead agencies in the State that deal with these issues for Delaware’s citizens. The Town has no Public Health component and we will look to these agencies for guidance on how to proceed in the coming days and weeks regarding the virus.

As these officials update the Town about issues related to the coronavirus, the Town will pass these updates on to citizens on the Town’s website at www.townofbethanybeach.com  and the Town’s List Serv. If you do not subscribe to the Town’s List Serv you may do so by visiting our website and clicking on “Residents” followed by “Notify Me” and follow the commands.

The Town’s focus will be on providing essential services: police, water, and sanitation to the community as this situation evolves. Some physical projects and routine maintenance projects the Town might perform at this time of year may be put off to the future as the Town works to make sure it can provide the essential services listed above.

No decisions regarding the summer season have been made at this time.  The Town will resume conducting business as usual as soon as possible and will work to keep citizens informed of its plans as the current situation unfolds.


Updated:  March 18, 2020

SBA Disaster Assistance in Response to the Coronavirus

  • The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering designated states and territories low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Upon a request received from a state’s or territory’s Governor, SBA will issue under its own authority, as provided by the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act that was recently signed by the President, an Economic Injury Disaster Loan declaration.

  • Any such Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance declaration issued by the SBA makes loans available to small businesses and private, non-profit organizations in designated areas of a state or territory to help alleviate economic injury caused by the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

  • SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance will coordinate with the state’s or territory’s Governor to submit the request for Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance.

  • Once a declaration is made for designated areas within a state, the information on the application process for Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance will be made available to all affected communities as well as updated on our website: SBA.gov/disaster.

  • SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million in assistance and can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.

  • These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses without credit available elsewhere; businesses with credit available elsewhere are not eligible. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%.

  • SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay.

  • SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans are just one piece of the expanded focus of the federal government’s coordinated response, and the SBA is strongly committed to providing the most effective and customer-focused response possible.

  • For additional information, please contact the SBA disaster assistance customer service center. Call 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or e-mail disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.

  • Visit SBA.gov/disaster for more information.

Updated:    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.

 Click here to read the modified emergency declaration. 


Update - March 13, 2020 (3:45 p.m.)

Today, Delaware’s Mayors were able to speak to the Governor and other Delaware officials regarding the Governor’s recently declared State of Emergency Declaration regarding the Coronavirus.  Because of the State of Emergency and ever-growing concerns in the state regarding the virus, the Town will be canceling all public meetings for the near future, with the exception of the meeting scheduled on March 16, 2020, at 10:00 a.m. to hear Public Comment regarding the Fiscal Year 2021 Budget. In addition, a Special Meeting will be convened immediately after this meeting for the Town Council to review, consider, and vote on the Fiscal Year 2021 Budget.  All other Town related meetings are canceled until further notice.  Special Events are also canceled at this time until future notice.

Town Hall will remain open at this time.

The Delaware Department of Public Health and the Delaware Emergency Management Agency are the lead agencies in the State that deal with these issues for Delaware’s citizens. The Town has no Public Health component and we will look to these agencies for guidance on how to proceed in the coming days and weeks regarding the virus.

As these officials update the Town about issues related to the coronavirus, the Town will pass these updates on to citizens on the Town’s website at www.townofbethanybeach.com  and the Town’s List Serv. If you do not subscribe to the Town’s List Serv you may do so by visiting our website and clicking on “Residents” followed by “Notify Me” and follow the commands.

The Town’s focus will be on providing essential services: police, water, and sanitation to the community as this situation evolves. Some physical projects and routine maintenance projects the Town might perform at this time of year may be put off to the future as the Town works to make sure it can provide the essential services listed above.

No decisions regarding the summer season have been made at this time.  The Town will resume conducting business as usual as soon as possible and will work to keep citizens informed of its plans as the current situation unfolds.


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Update:  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 

 WILMINGTON, Del. – 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 schools or 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.



DPH ANNOUNCES ADDITIONAL PRESUMPTIVE POSITIVE CASES OF CORONAVIRUS IN DELAWARE 

 

DOVER (March 12, 2020) – The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) is announcing three additional presumptive positive cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). All three individuals are under the age of 30 and are associated with the University of Delaware community.

The individuals are not severely ill and are currently self-isolated at home. The individuals were exposed to the same confirmed case of COVID-19 in another state as the first Delaware case. Epidemiologists from the Division of Public Health are working with the patients to identify any close contacts of these individuals who were possibly exposed. If other people are found to have possibly been exposed, state health officials will provide guidance to these individuals and monitor them closely for the development of symptoms.

DPH will not be disclosing additional information about the individuals. 

“We understand that news of additional cases is concerning to students, staff, and families in the University of Delaware community,”  said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. “However, DPH is working closely with the administration at the University of Delaware on their coronavirus disease response.”  

DPH has issued the following guidance for the University of Delaware community: 

  • Close contacts of these individuals, whether or not they have symptoms of illness including fever, cough, or shortness of breath, may return home during University of Delaware’s spring break. These individuals may not use public transportation to get home. They will need to remain home for at least 14 days after last contact with positive cases. 

  • Individuals who did not have contact with these individuals can return home and go about their daily lives. They should self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 and contact their primary contact provider if symptoms appear. 

Studnts, faculty, and staff who have general questions about the University of Delaware’s response to COVID-19 can contact the University of Delaware’s Call Center at (302) 831-1188 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. 

Families who have concerns are encouraged to contact their family care provider to discuss the possibility of testing if symptoms appear. 

Symptoms of COVID-19 are most similar to lower respiratory infections with patients having fever, cough, and shortness of breath. The symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure. There is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for COVID-19 infection at this time. While in some cases illnesses can be severe and require hospitalization, many individuals infected with COVID-19 recover by resting, drinking plenty of liquids and taking pain, and fever-reducing medications. 

In Delaware, DPH has tested 41 individuals for COVID-19, including the individuals who tested positive for the disease. A total of 23 tests returned negative results, and 14 persons under investigation are awaiting test results. 

Testing for coronavirus disease is not recommended for individuals who do not have any symptoms of illness. For individuals who have symptoms of illness (fever, cough, or shortness of breath) testing is available at both the Delaware Public Health Lab as well as certain commercial labs. Medical providers should evaluate patients and rule out other causes of illness first before recommending testing for COVID-19.  While testing for the disease at the Public Health Lab requires DPH approval, providers do not need DPH approval to submit test samples at a commercial lab. With several commercial labs now having lab testing available, Delaware has enough capacity to accommodate testing. Providers only need to collect mouth and nose swabs as they would for flu to submit samples for testing at either venue. Commercial labs are required to report testing and results to DPH. 

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, go to de.gov/coronavirus.

DPH will continue to update the public as more information becomes available. For more information, visit de.gov/coronavirus


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