Carney says state will do more than rely on stats in moving toward reopening

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Gov. John Carney said the state is not relying on statistics alone in moving toward the reopening of workplaces.

He acknowledged in a press briefing on Friday that the White House and Centers for Disease Control guidelines that call for a 14-day decline in cases will not work since the state is “overtesting” areas like Georgetown, which has seen an outbreak of COVID-19.

Carney said he did not want to “pick a fight” with protesters calling for the reopening of the state, but was concerned about the lack of face masks. He said the state will not take an aggressive approach but will try to strike a balance between voluntary compliance and ticketing and enforcement.

Carney did have a bone to pick with Republican legislators who in a letter yesterday called for an immediate opening of the state. He noted that some of the legislators signing the letter represent areas that have been hit by the outbreak that includes portions of Kent and Sussex County and said a unified approach is preferable.

Delaware Division of Health Director, Dr. Karyl Rattay said the state ranks in the top 15 in the percentage of the population being tested.

She also noted that the state is working to develop a contract tracing program and welcomed inquiries and persons interested in working in that area through the state’s coronavirus site.

Carney noted that 1,100 tests have been performed in Georgetown.

“We’ve seen some real success in flattening the curve,” Carney said, pointing to the decline in the number of hospitalizations and modest growth in positive cases in Kent and New Castle.

The state now has nearly double the hospital capacity than is currently needed to handle coronavirus cases.

“It’s wearing people thin,” Carney said of the restrictions, adding that those sentiments are being expressed in “Zoom” town hall meetings held by the administration.

Critics have attacked reliance on tests, pointing to studies that indicate the virus is more widespread in the population than first thought.

State Division of Health Director Dr. Karyl Rattay said she did not want to offer any “false hope.” While some progress has been reported, the state has a long way to go to get a fix on outbreaks in vulnerable populations that include families of poultry workers in northern Kent and Sussex counties.

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