Gov. John Carney on Monday signed Executive Order #39, creating a Pandemic Resurgence Advisory Committee to plan for a potential resurgence of COVID-19 in the fall.
The formation of the group comes as the state moved today to the Phase 1 order, with Phase 2 possible later in the month. The state is hoping to have enough testing and contact tracing in place to isolate outbreaks that are possible as more people congregate.
Lieutenant Governor and nurse faculty member Bethany Hall-Long and Secretary of State Jeff Bullock will co-chair the effort along with the co-chairs of three subcommittees:
- Health: Chair – Dr. Nancy Fan, Chair of the Delaware Health Care Commission
- Equity: Chair – Eugene Young, President, Metropolitan Urban League of Wilmington
- Business: Chair – Katie Wilkinson, Chair of the Board of Directors, Delaware State Chamber of Commerce
“This pandemic is not over,” said Carney. “The COVID-19 virus is still active in Delaware, and there’s a real risk of a dangerous second wave this fall. Our most vulnerable populations – especially our elderly neighbors and those with underlying health conditions – remain most at risk. I want to thank everyone who agreed to serve on this committee. This distinguished group will help us look forward, and develop a comprehensive plan for managing a second wave of this disease.
Carney continued, “In the meantime, Delawareans need to remain vigilant. Visit your favorite restaurant, but maintain social distance in all public settings. Wash or sanitize your hands frequently. Wear face coverings, and please stay home if you feel sick. Now is not the time to let up.”
Under Governor Carney’s executive order on Monday, the group will:
- Develop a healthcare system and public health strategy that’s ready in case of a resurgence of COVID-19;
- Identify tactics and resources to manage a resurgence of COVID-19 including, but not limited to testing capabilities, personal protective equipment (PPE), social distancing, economic recovery and health facility readiness; and
- Assess methods to protect vulnerable populations and consider disproportionate effects on minority-owned businesses in the event of a resurgence of COVID-19.
“We must be prepared as we move into the fall with a plan that assumes there will be no vaccine or treatment in the event COVID-19 resurges,” said Lt. Gov. Hall-Long. “These last few months have shown us what has worked, and what has not. We must build on those lessons to improve and protect the health of all Delawareans, in a way that is equitable and fair for all communities, and all sectors of our economy.”
The PRAC group will produce and submit two written reports of its findings and recommendations to the Governor – the first by July 31, and the second by September 30. Delaware’s Office of Management and Budget, the Delaware Department of Justice, and the Office of the Governor will provide administrative and leadership support for the PRAC and each of its subcommittees.
The PRAC virtual meetings will be scheduled in the coming weeks, and meeting information will be posted on Delaware’s public meeting calendar.