As expected, Gov. John Carney on Wednesday formally extended the State of Emergency declaration another 30 days as the state moves to reopen schools.
“The precautions you’re taking are working. We are beating COVID-19, but we can’t let up. This virus is still out there, and it can cause serious illness. We know from public health experts that following basic health precautions is the best way to prevent community spread,” Carney wrote. “Wearing a face mask in public settings is still required by this State of Emergency declaration. Wash or sanitize your hands frequently. Keep your distance from others outside your household. Know your COVID-19 status by getting a test. Visit de.gov/gettested to find a testing site near you. Thank you to all Delawareans and visitors who are following these precautions.”
The State of Emergency has emerged as a campaign issue, with Republicans saying the order should be lifted. Legislation to limit the governor’s ability to extend the declaration was introduced in the past session.
A half a dozen Republicans are running for governor, largely under the platform of “reopening” the state. Governors around the country have extended the emergency order as many states saw a spike in Covid-19 cases.
Carney’s State of Emergency declaration – including each of its modifications is enforceable with measures that can include fines and other penalties.
Individuals who have complaints about individuals violating public gathering restrictions should contact state or local law enforcement. Concerns that a business may be violating operating restrictions should be directed to: HSPContact@delaware.gov. Questions related to business re-openings or operations as businesses reopen should go to COVID19FAQ@delaware.gov.