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COVID-19 Daily Briefing 4/1

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April 1, 5: 15 p.m.

Carney signs order to cancel large gatherings

Gov. John Carney signed his ninth modification to his state of emergency declaration, which forces organizers and gatherings to cancel events with more than 10 people. This order goes into effect April 2 at 8 p.m. and lifts on May 15, or until the “public health threat has been eliminated.”

This applies to weddings, funerals, and other business events. It does not include regular interactions with immediate family members, people of the same household, caregivers or emergency childcare facilities.

Gatherings with fewer than 10 people should only be carried out if people follow social distancing measures and other measures are followed.

The latest order also requires businesses to outline six feet of spacing at checkout lines and reduces the number of people allowed in the store. One person is permitted for every 150 square feet, except during exclusive hours for high-risk populations which allows  a person per 300 square feet in a store at a time. Staff must also count customers exiting and entering the store.

Stores will also discontinue self-serve foods and product sampling.

April 1, 4 p.m.

Delaware Public Health announces new cases; total 368

The Delaware Division of Public Health has announced one additional fatality related to COVID-19.   

In total, 11 Delawareans have passed away due to complications from COVID-19. The most recent death involves an 84-year-old male from Sussex County who was hospitalized and had significant underlying health conditions. 

In Delaware since March 11 there have been 368 total laboratory-confirmed cases. Of those, 226 are residents of New Castle County, 101 are from Sussex County and 41 are from Kent County. Currently, 51 patients are hospitalized and 13 are considered critically ill. Preliminary data provided by DPH shows there have been 4015 negative cases*.

To protect personal health information, DPH will not disclose additional information about the individuals who passed away, nor will DPH confirm specific information about any individual case, even if other persons or entities disclose it independently.

Delaware is considering patients fully recovered seven days after the resolution of their symptoms. Three days after symptoms resolve, patients are no longer required to self-isolate at home; however, they must continue to practice strict social distancing for the remaining four days before returning to their normal daily routine.

*Data on negative cases are preliminary, based on negative results reported to DPH by state and commercial laboratories performing analysis. Multiple negative tests per person are only counted once.

April 1, 1 p.m.

New Castle County Executive Meyer signs emergency ordinances

New Castle County Executive MattMeyer signed new emergency ordinances into law, just hours after proposing them.

The newly formed laws will:

  • Create a $1 million emergency COVID-19 recovery fund to purchase PPE (personal protection equipment), test kits and additional medical supplies to keep county residents safe, healthy and, where possible, able to work.
  • Invests $500,000 in the Delaware State Housing Authority’s Emergency COVID-19 Recovery Rental Assistance program.
  • Invests $500,000 in emergency COVID-19 recovery rapid response for those in the greatest need. Rapid response moneys are distributed weekly to organizations to provide goods and services to those with the greatest needs across Delaware.
  • Provid emergency relief on certain tax collections, penalties, fees as announced earlier this week.
  • Bolstering the County’s seasonal Public Works jobs program to fill in gaps in County workforce by doubling the size of this seasonal job program, enabling those currently out of work to immediately begin earning a living again. Hiring for this program will begin as soon as safely possible, and the program will be larger than it has been in over a decade.
  • Rushing large projects out to bid; Those interested can remotely bid throughout April and May and once it is safe to do so, residents will immediately be put to work, building a library, paramedic station and providing ramped up maintenance of our sewer system and on other publicly valuable projects.

April 1, 12 p.m.

DART enacts new safety measures to ensure social distancing on buses

EffectiveThursday, April 2, DART will limit the number of passengers allowed on each bus at any given time, based on bus seating capacity.  Passenger boardings will be through the rear door with fares waived.  Riders needing boarding assistance will be allowed to continue boarding through the front door.

In order to accommodate riders, DART will operate additional timing buses, as well as have additional operators on standby.

April 1, 10 a.m.

Carl M. Freeman Foundation donates $250,000 to Beebe Healthcare’s Relief Fund

The Carl M. Freeman Foundation is donating $250,000 to be used for COVID-19 testing, including personal protective equipment, and the well-being of frontline healthcare professionals.

Beebe launched the COVID-19 Relief Fund to help purchase medical equipment, supplies, and costs directly associated with patient care enabling our team members to continue to do what it takes to keep everyone safe.

“We all have to do our part individually with physical distancing, and the Foundation wants to ensure that funding is available for testing of COVID-19 and PPE (personal protective equipment). Nothing could be more important today than to support your local healthcare system,” said Michelle Freeman, President and Chair of the Carl M. Freeman Foundation.

“This generous gift from the Carl M. Freeman Foundation will help equip team Beebe with the needed equipment to combat this pandemic and save lives in Sussex County,” said Dr. David Tam, President and CEO of Beebe Healthcare. “Beebe is working to ensure the optimal process for screening and testing as many Sussex County resident as possible for COVID-19. This way, we can develop the best methods for illness prevention as well as plans for the expected surge of critically ill patients.”

Members of the community looking to donate a monetary amount can visit www.beebehealthcare.org/covid19-relief. More information can be found online for those looking to donate supplies.

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