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Coronavirus News

COVID-19 Weekend Briefing 3/21-3/22


March 22, 5 p.m.

Gov. Carney issues ‘stay at home’ order

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.

“This was not an easy decision, but it’s the right decision to protect the safety of Delawareans and Delaware families,” Carney said. “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 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 well-being 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.


March 22, 4:12 p.m.

Delaware identifies 11 new cases, bringing state total to 56

The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) announced Sunday afternoon that there are 11 new positive COVID-19 cases since Saturday’s afternoon update, bringing the total to 56. is providing an update on the number of positive cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) reported in the state.

Of that number 39 are from New Castle County, five are from Kent County, and 12 are from Sussex County, meaning seven of the 11 new cases are from New Castle County, and four are from Sussex County.  Of these cases, 30 are male and 26 are female. The individuals range in age from 14 to 80. Six individuals are currently hospitalized; three are critically ill. To protect personal health information,

DPH said it will not be disclosing additional information about the individuals. DPH cannot confirm specific information even if other entities choose to make their own announcements. The source of exposure for many of these positive cases is unknown, which indicates community spread of the virus is occurring in the state.

Governor John Carney, along with the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS), announced on Friday a coordinated statewide plan to ensure individuals with symptoms consistent with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) have access to safe and efficient testing in Delaware.  Implementation of this plan will begin on Monday, March 23.

For those who have been tested for the virus, please note that the DPH Call Center does not have test results. Individuals awaiting test results, should wait to hear back from their medical provider.

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.

March 21, 5:20 p.m.

Six new cases of COVID-19 bring Delaware total to 45

The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) announced Saturday afternoon that there are six new cases of COVID-19 cases since its last update on Friday. Of the Delawareans diagnosed with COVID-19, 32 are from New Castle County; five are from Kent County; and eight are from Sussex County.

Of these cases, 24 are male and 21 are female. The individuals range in age from 14 to 80. Five individuals are currently hospitalized; two are critically ill.

The source of exposure for many of these positive cases is unknown, which indicates community spread of the virus is occurring in the state.

Gov. John Carney, along with the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS), announced on Friday, a coordinated statewide plan to ensure individuals with symptoms consistent with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) have access to safe and efficient testing in Delaware. This plan will be rolled out during the week of Monday, March 23.

March 21, 1:30 p.m.

Delaware National Guard member positive for COVID-19

The Delaware National Guard reported that one of its members had tested positive for coronavirus on Friday.

Brig. Gen. Michael Berry, the adjutant general of the state’s National Guard, announced that the guard member immediately took proactive measures once they noticed symptoms consistent with COVID-19 and is recovering.

No one that the guard member came in contact has shown symptoms, but Barry warned that the “probability is that we will see future cases.” The Delaware National Guard is also being proactive about cleaning and sanitizing, Berry added.

“It is important that we not only maintain safe practices but that we also remain as calm and supportive as possible. As always, leadership is vital as we work through these unique times,” he said in a Facebook post.

As of 10:15 a.m., there are 40 cases of coronavirus in Delaware, breaking down to 28 cases in New Castle County, five in Kent County and seven in Sussex County.

March 21, 12:20 p.m.

Carney closes Delaware beaches, effective 5 pm. Saturday

REHOBOTH – Gov. 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 p.m. tonight, March 21, and will last until May 15, or until the public health threat of COVID-19 has been eliminated.

March 21, 12:15 p.m.

Carper asks for stronger strategy for medical-supply distribution

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Tom Carper, senior Democrat on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC) and a former two-term governor of Delaware, sent a letter imploring President Trump and his administration to develop a comprehensive, coherent strategy to get desperately needed medical supplies – including hospital gowns, surgical masks, testing swabs and ventilators – to states and to present that plan to Congress.

In the letter, Carper urged Trump to fully use all existing authorities, including authorities under the Defense Production Act of 1950 (DPA), to respond to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak with the urgency it demands. Carper also called on Trump and his administration to work directly with governors to assess the current need for supplies and to provide direct military assistance to ensure that critical supplies are getting to states hardest-hit by this public health crisis.

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