Governor John Carney on Monday declared a Public Health Emergency and released a more robust Order to assist with Delaware’s response to the coronavirus (COVID-19).
Wilmington (DE): The Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA) and the Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) issued a companion order focused on strengthening Delaware’s health care workforce in response to COVID-19.
“We know this is a startling increase for Delawareans to see,” said DHSS Secretary Dr. Kara Odom Walker, a practicing family physician. ” It is an indication of spread that we expected to see, but it is also reflective of the state’s increased testing capacity which is leading to more results – both positive and negative. It also shows us why we need Delawareans to stay home and stay safe. We all must end unnecessary contact with others, practice stringent social distancing, go out for essential groceries or prescriptions only as needed, and go to work only if we are in an essential business. We will get through this, but we must do it together.”
There have been 87 total laboratory-confirmed cases in the state since March 11. This includes 31 additional cases since yesterday. Seven individuals are currently hospitalized; three are critically ill., Walker said.
The source of exposure for many of these positive cases is unknown, which indicates community spread of the virus is occurring in the state., Walker said.
Read Governor Carney’s Public Health Emergency Declaration.
Read the companion order from DEMA and DPH.
Both orders went into effect at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, March 23, 2020.
“We’re acting with urgency to prevent a spike in coronavirus cases that could overwhelm our hospital system,” said Governor Carney. “These new orders will help make sure Delaware has the supplies and the health care professionals necessary to respond to COVID-19. I want to thank all of Delaware’s health care workers who are on the front lines of our response. We owe you all a debt of gratitude.
“We need everyone’s help. Delawareans should follow basic hygiene practices and stay home unless it’s essential to go out for work, or for the health and well-being of your family. We’ll get through this, but we all need to pitch in and take this threat seriously.”
Under the order from DEMA and DPH:
• Nurses, doctors, mental health care providers, pharmacists and other health care professionals who have active licenses or certificates of good standing in any U.S. jurisdiction are authorized to provide in-person health care services in Delaware throughout the emergency, as well as telemedicine services.
• Delaware health care professionals whose licenses expired in the last five years are authorized to provide health care services in Delaware, assuming their licenses were in good standing for the five-year period.
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.