Governor limits restaurants, bars to take out & delivery, halts casino games as 8th person tests positive for coronavirus

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Gatherings over 50 also banned

Gov. John Carney on Monday modified his March 12 emergency declaration to limit Delaware restaurants, taverns and bars to take-out and delivery service only to help prevent spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

The modification came as the state reported its eighth case of COVID-19.

Similar orders have been issued in Maryland, Pennsylvania and other states in recent days.

 Carney’s updated emergency declaration— which takes effect at 8 p.m. tonight, March 16 — also bans public gatherings of 50 or more people, consistent with updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and closes gaming activity at Delaware casinos.

The state’s alcohol beverage director John Cordrey followed up the order with a letter stating that no establishment with an on-premises license can sell alcoholic beverages to go.

Monday’s modification to Governor Carney’s emergency declaration also gives Delaware’s Secretary of Labor authorization to develop emergency rules to protect Delaware workers and ensure that unemployment benefits are available for Delawareans whose jobs are affected by the coronavirus outbreak.  

“These restrictions will hit Delaware’s restaurants and bars especially hard,” said  Carney. “Delawareans should continue to support these businesses, and their workers, by ordering take-out or delivery. Restaurants also remain a critical source of food for vulnerable populations. But this is a very serious situation, with a significant amount of uncertainty. If you gather with 50 people or more, you are only increasing the risk that more Delawareans will come in contact with this virus. Let’s not make a challenging situation worse.”

The hospitality industry employs about 10 percent of the state’s workforce.

On Thursday, March 12, Governor Carney issued a State of Emergency declaration to mobilize state resources to prepare for the spread of coronavirus across Delaware.  

The Delaware Division of Public Health stated that the eighth positive case of coronavirus  involves a New Castle County woman over the age of 50.

The individual is not severely ill and is currently self-isolated at home.

She was exposed to a positive case in another state. 

Epidemiologists from the Division of Public Health indicated she has minimal close contacts in the state and have been working to identify any people who were possibly exposed.

It is believed to be the first case not tied to the University of Delaware community.

The state is no longer listing the number of people being monitored and will instead only issue confirmed cases.

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