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This page offers all of Delaware Public Media's ongoing coverage of the COVID-19 outbreak and how it is affecting the First State. Check here regularly for the latest new and information.

Gov. Carney announces new restrictions as COVID-19 cases rise

via State of Delaware Livestream

Gov. John Carney is imposing new restrictions on Delawareans to try to slow the increasing spread of coronavirus.


The new restrictions focus on limitiing public and private gatherings.



Starting next week, the state is restricting all indoor public gatherings to 30 percent of a venue’s fire code capacity with a 50 person cap. This goes for weddings, funerals, services at houses of worship, political gatherings and restaurants.


Restaurants will be allowed additional outdoor seating, but people dining indoors will be required to wear masks until their food is served and whenever servers come to their table.

The state is also restricting private gatherings in homes to no more than 10 people ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.


“I know this is difficult, and it’s difficult for me as governor to have to decide to put these restrictions in place," said Carney at his weekly press briefing Tuesday. "I can tell you I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t think it was the right thing to do for the health and the economic welfare of our state not just tomorrow and next week, but next month and next year.”    

State Public Health Director Dr. Karyl Rattay cites contact tracing evidence of outbreaks at religious services, restaurants and house parties.

Carney concedes compliance with private gathering restrictions will be voluntary.


“We rely primarily on most of this on voluntary compliance," said Carney. "There are certain things that we do with public establishments with public health enforcement, with law enforcement, but we’re not going to be knocking on people’s doors to see how many are at dinner for Thanksgiving.”

Outdoor gatherings will be limited to 50 people, unless a plan for up to 250 is approved by Delaware’s  Division of Public Health.

Other restrictions include stricter mask requirements in gyms, and prohibiting youth-sports tournaments with out-of-state teams.