Governor Carney Announces Interim Steps Allowing Small Businesses to Expand their Services with Social Distancing in Place.
Retail, hair dressers able to resume limited services while maintaining health guidelines
Wilmington (DE): A Coronavirus Pandemic that started in China, and has now reached the United States, prompting government issued lock downs all over the country. U.S. Governor’s began issuing statewide mandates as early as March, forcing non essential businesses to close, citizens to stay home and only leave their homes for essential work, exercise, or essential activities such as grocery shopping. A new mandate has now required citizens to wear a face covering and practice social distancing guidelines while in public.
Now, nearly sixty days into the state issued orders Delaware is just now beginning to see some results from the efforts to contain the coronavirus (covid-19) virus and slow it down and on Tuesday Governor John Carney announced a series of interim steps allowing small businesses to resume limited operations effective 8:00 a.m. on Friday, May 8.
The goal of the interim steps is to provide economic relief to Delaware citizens and businesses who are struggling financially – while maintaining strict adherence to health and safety guidelines. The steps also will help as Delawareans and Delaware businesses adapt to new ways of operating once Phase 1 begins.
“I understand how hard this has been for Delawareans across our state. We’ve tried to find ways to ease the pain without compromising public health,” said Governor Carney. “But even these limited steps allowing businesses to offer additional services will require strict compliance with safety standards, especially social distancing. We cannot afford to go backwards and see new cases and hospitalizations spike. Getting used to a new normal won’t be easy, but this is the first step to being able to reopen our economy.”
Below are the interim steps the Governor announced are effective at 8:00 a.m. on Friday:
- Small business retailers will be allowed to do business using curbside pickup as long as social distancing can be maintained. These retailers include:
- Clothing stores
- Shoe stores
- Sporting goods, hobby, musical instruments
- Book, periodical, music stores
- Department stores
- Tobacco and Vape
- Other general merchandise
- Office supply, stationery, and gift stores
- Used merchandise stores
- Consumer goods rental
- Jewelry stores may do business by appointment only, and the Governor has instructed the Division of Small Business to consider additional changes like this for other similar retailers.
- Cosmetology: Hair care services only are permitted to be offered, and only to workers at essential businesses. Guidelines include:
- No more than two appointments at a time per location (and never more than the number of available staff, so just one for a sole proprietor). Need to leave 15 minutes between appointments for proper cleaning.
- Employees and customers must wear cloth face masks at all times, and customers must cancel appointments if they have any reason to believe they may be ill or may have come into contact with the virus.
- Staff must wear disposable gloves when providing services and must throw away gloves between customers and wash hands.
- Employer must require employees to report their temperature daily — above 99.5 means they are ineligible to work.
- Customer stations must be sanitized between use, along with any equipment used for the customer. In addition, any item a customer handles (like a magazine) must leave with the customer.
- Entrance door must remain locked to outside to prevent walk-ins.
- Golf carts allowed at courses for 1 rider at a time with proper cleaning between customers
- Drive thru movies are permitted, but patrons must remain inside vehicles and social distancing must be maintained at all times.
Employees required to report to work as a result of these changes will now be permitted to utilize child care services, provided neither parent works from home and they do not have alternate care.
Anyone with a question about COVID-19, whether related to medical or social service needs, should call Delaware 2-1-1; or 7-1-1 for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. Or text your ZIP code to 898-211. Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Questions can also be submitted by email at DPHCall@delaware.gov.