Gov. John Carney on Friday, Nov. 20, issued the third revision to his omnibus emergency order, formally imposing restrictions announced earlier that week to limit the spread of COVID-19.
“These are difficult decisions, but we face a difficult and challenging winter,” said Carney. “COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are rising in Delaware and across the country. More than 250,000 Americans have already lost their lives to this virus. We’re focused on protecting lives and targeting restrictions where we’re seeing spread of COVID-19. Let’s all do our part. Wear a mask. Avoid gatherings with anyone outside your household. Consider celebrating holidays a little differently this year. Stay vigilant and we’ll get through this.”
Carney’s order includes a number of restrictions, which took effect at 8 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 23:
• Indoor gatherings in homes must be capped at no more than 10 people.
• Indoor gatherings at businesses or indoor spaces open to the public must be limited to the lesser of 30 percent of the venue’s stated fire capacity, or 50 people.
• Services in houses of worship are limited to 30 percent of capacity, up to 100 people. Additional capacity may be permitted with a plan approved by the Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) by emailing HSPcontact@delaware.gov.
• Outdoor public gatherings are limited to 50 people. Additional capacity, up to a cap of 250 people, may be permitted with a plan approved by DPH.
• Restaurants must operate at no more than 30 percent of fire capacity indoors, with allowances for additional outdoor seating. Additionally, parties sitting at the bar must not exceed two people.
• Delawareans must always wear face coverings in gyms.
The order also prohibits Delaware youth sports organizations, teams and venues from hosting or participating in tournaments with out-of-state teams, effective at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 1. The order includes a provision prohibiting Delaware teams from traveling across states lines for tournaments.
Also this week, Carney announced an expansion of the DE Relief Grants program for businesses hardest hit by COVID-19 restrictions.
The expansion will provide up to $25 million in additional relief for hundreds of businesses that have been disproportionately impacted. Qualifying businesses, including restaurants and taprooms, will receive double their original grant allocation.
The DE Relief Grants program — funded by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief & Economic Security (CARES) Act — is providing more than $150 million in direct assistance to Delaware small businesses statewide. The application deadline for a grant is Dec. 4, and the application can be found at delbiz.com/relief.
DPH will continue to update the public as more information becomes available. For the latest on Delaware’s response, go to de.gov/coronavirus.