Major changes to COVID-19 restrictions coming May 21st

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“We are excited to be at the point in our state’s efforts where we can lift these restrictions, but it’s important to remember that our efforts are not over and we are not out of the woods yet.,” said Dr. Karyl Rattay, Director of the Division of Public Health.

WILMINGTON (DE) BY DIGITAL STAFF: As Hospitalizations and deaths continue to decline in Delaware, Governor John Carney  announced Tuesday at his COVID-19 press briefing that most capacity restrictions will be lifted starting May 21, 2021.

Carney also cautioned that Delawareans should still follow the CDC mask guidance outdoors, and that larger events still require plan approval from DPH

Effective Friday, May 21:

  • All capacity restrictions inside restaurants, retail, other business establishments and houses of worship will be lifted.  Facilities will be able to use as much capacity as social distancing requirements will allow.
  • Masks will still be required indoors to prevent spread of COVID-19.
  • Outdoors, Delawareans should follow masking guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Risk for COVID-19 spread increases in large crowds that include unvaccinated people. In those cases, CDC recommends that everyone continue to wear a mask.  DPH may require masks for crowded venues and large gatherings including concerts, sporting events, etc.
  • Social distancing requirements will move from 6 feet to 3 feet.
  • Customers must continue to remain seated indoors and outdoors at bars and restaurants, unless a plan for dance floors and other areas is approved by DPH, and distancing of at least 3 feet should be maintained.
  • Events over 250 people indoors and outdoors will still require plan approval from DPH to ensure compliance with basic precautions to prevent spread of COVID-19.

The changes will be formalized in an upcoming modification to Governor Carney’s COVID-19 emergency order.

“COVID-19 is still circulating in our communities but we have the tools to prevent severe illness and hospitalization,” said Governor Carney. “Get vaccinated. And ask to your friends and family if they’ve gotten their shot. That’s the best thing you can do to protect yourself and those you love.”

As of Monday, May 3, Delaware providers had administered 762,869 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. More than 53 percent of Delawareans 16 and older have received at least one shot.

“We are excited to be at the point in our state’s efforts where we can lift these restrictions, but it’s important to remember that our efforts are not over and we are not out of the woods yet. There will still be some risk of transmission, especially in crowded settings, with the more contagious variants circulating at high levels in our state,” said Dr. Karyl Rattay, Director of the Division of Public Health. “So let’s enter this next phase of the recovery responsibly, wearing masks indoors and getting vaccinated if you haven’t.”

A total of 105,775 positive cases of COVID-19 among Delaware residents have been reported to DPH since March 11, 2020. The seven-day average of new positive cases decreased to 196.7 as of Thursday, May 6.

115 individuals are currently hospitalized due to COVID-19 in Delaware, down 51 from this time last week. Twelve of the hospitalized persons are critically ill, down three from last week.

Sadly, a total of 1,629 Delawareans have passed away due to complications from COVID-19. The state reported four additional deaths since last week’s update. The total number of individuals who have died from COVID-19 range in age from younger than 5 to 104 years old. Of those who have died, 816 were female and 813 were male. A total of 809 individuals were from New Castle County, 336 were from Kent County, and 484 were from Sussex County.

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Delaware Newsline is a digital Delaware News Organization that provides local and national breaking news content to its Delaware and U.S. audience, by utilizing multiple platforms including web, social media, and video.

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