Gov. John Carney on Thursday, Sept. 3, signed the 27th modification to his State of Emergency (https://governor.delaware.gov/health-soe/twenty-seventh-state-of-emergency/), combining all active COVID-19 restrictions into a single order. The modification also formalized the latest restrictions around bar service in Delaware beach communities and requires that businesses more strictly enforce face covering requirements among their employees.

The order was set to take effect at 8 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 4.

The full provisions of the State of Emergency order are online at https://governor.delaware.gov/health-soe/twenty-seventh-state-of-emergency/.

“For months, Delawareans have stepped up, made significant sacrifices and taken simple precautions to beat this COVID-19 virus,” said Carney. “We have made real progress. Delawareans have saved lives by taking the science seriously. Fewer Delawareans are in the hospital today because we’re following those basic precautions.

“But we’re not out of this fight yet. Continue to wear a face covering in public places. Avoid large gatherings. Physically distance from others outside your household. That’s how we’ll get more Delaware children back in school and more Delawareans back to work. Stay vigilant.”

Carney’s order requires businesses to more strictly enforce face-covering requirements among their employees. They must have written documentation, such as a doctor’s note, supporting any accommodation that allows an employee to not wear a face covering. The order also includes additional guidance around the wearing of face coverings in restaurants and gyms.

In restaurants, Delawareans and visitors are being strongly encouraged to wear face coverings when waitstaff visits a table, and whenever they are not eating or drinking. Customers must wear coverings if they leave their table, and while entering or exiting the establishment.

In gyms and other exercise facilities, Delawareans must wear face coverings when they are not engaged in vigorous physical activity. Vigorous physical activity — or high-intensity exercise — is defined as a physical activity done with a large amount of effort, resulting in a substantially higher heart rate and rapid breathing. Delawareans must also wear face coverings while weightlifting, which is not considered vigorous physical activity, and everyone is being strongly encouraged to wear face coverings at all times in gyms.

According to the updated order, bars in Delaware beach communities were able to reopen on Friday, Sept. 4, for food service, with significant safety precautions. Reservations are required for bar service, and food must be ordered. Patrons must maintain 6 feet social distance from non-household members.

The State of Emergency declaration (https://governor.delaware.gov/health-soe/twenty-seventh-state-of-emergency/) — including each of its modifications — carries the full force and effect of law. Delawareans and visitors also must follow local restrictions in place to limit community spread of COVID-19.

Anyone with a question about COVID-19, whether related to medical or social service needs, should call Delaware 211. Individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing can text their ZIP code to 898-211. Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Questions can also be submitted by email at DPHCall@delaware.gov.

Report a business for COVID-19 non-compliance using the form at https://coronavirus.delaware.gov/contact/.

DPH will continue to update the public as more information becomes available. For the latest on Delaware’s response, go to de.gov/coronavirus.