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What you need to know about the new restrictions that starts in Delaware on Monday

It will be Carney’s signed fourth  revision to the omnibus emergency order, announcing additional restrictions to confront the winter surge of COVID-19 hospitalizations in Delaware.

WILMINGTON (DE): Additional restrictions goes into effect on Monday after weeks of Coronavirus (COVID-19) concerns mount after health officials continue to report increases in daily positive cases that are showing no signs of letting up any time soon.

On Thursday, Governor John Carney announced at his weekly Covid-19 press briefing, that the additional restrictions will go into effect starting December 14, 2020 at 8:00 a.m.

It will be Carney’s signed fourth  revision to the omnibus emergency order, announcing additional restrictions to confront the winter surge of COVID-19 hospitalizations in Delaware.

The additional restrictions include:

    • Businesses above 100,000 square feet are limited to 20 percent of stated fire capacity.
    • All other businesses, including most retail stores and all restaurants, are limited to 30 percent of stated fire capacity.
    • Retail below 5,000 square feet, all Houses of Worship, and funeral services are limited to 40 percent of stated fire capacity.
    • A 10 p.m. curfew will be imposed at Delaware restaurants and bars.
    • Exercise classes at gyms are limited to 10 people and exercise machines must be spaced 10 feet apart
    • Indoor gatherings at businesses or indoor spaces open to the public must be limited to the lesser of 30 percent of the venue’s stated fire capacity, or 10 people.

Employees are excluded from business capacity restriction calculations and all new restrictions will take effect at 8 a.m. on Monday, December 14.

Governor Carney’s fourth revision also formally authorizes previously announced restrictions:

  • Stay-at-Home Advisory: Delawareans are strongly advised to stay at home and not to gather with anyone outside their household from December 14-January 11 to reduce the dangerous surge of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.
  • Universal mask mandate: Delawareans and visitors must wear masks anytime they are indoors with anyone outside of their household.

“These additional restrictions are intended to protect Delaware’s hospital capacity and protect lives this winter,” said Governor Carney. “Health care workers are on the job around the clock, caring for the sick. We all need to follow their lead and do our part to protect others. Don’t gather with anyone outside of your household. Any interaction is riskier when community spread is at current levels. Wear a mask whenever you’re around someone outside your household – even if they’re family or friends. Wash or sanitize your hands frequently. COVID-19 can cause serious illness and worse, especially for our most vulnerable friends, family members, and neighbors. Please take this seriously.”

Governor Carney and the Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) also on Thursday announced a zero-tolerance enforcement policy for businesses during the Stay-at-Home advisory. A first violation of COVID-19 restrictions will result in an immediate civil fine. A second violation will result in closure, until the establishment submits a reopening plan approved by DPH.

Restaurants will remain at 30 percent capacity, but must have signage prominently displayed on the table stating that parties must be from the same household. Restaurants also must share messaging on masking compliance. Governor Carney’s fourth revision caps mall food courts at 20 percent of stated fire capacity, or 100 people, whichever is smaller.

On Friday, the Division of Health reported yet it’s highest single day positive case count tallying at 1,090 cases. Health officials also reported 363 individuals who are currently hospitalized which is an increase of 75 from the total as of last Friday’s update. Forty-nine of those hospitalized are critically ill, up 12 from last week.

“We need the public to take this virus and this current surge in cases seriously,” said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. “Now is not the time to visit with friends or to continue traditions like family cookie bakes unless you can do so virtually. This is the time to double down on mask use, frequent handwashing and keeping your distance from others who reside outside your household.”

A total of 807 Delawareans have passed away due to complications from COVID-19.

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