Gov. Carney moves to regulate restaurants as Delaware announces eighth COVID-19 case
Delaware is joining several other states in regulating private businesses during the coronavirus outbreak.
Gov. John Carney modified his four-day-old emergency declaration Monday to limit all Delaware restaurants and bars to take-out service only starting at 8:00 p.m. Monday.
"We're having our last call at 7:45," said Patrick Campbell, a Manager at McGlynn’s Bar and Restaurant in Dover adding that he's just worried about his staff.
“We’re still working on a tentative process to still be open for takeaway and all that stuff, curbside-to-go," he said. "Just so we can still remain in business and get some of our long-term employees some payment instead of going over the lapse without income.”
The executive order also closes all gaming activity at Delaware’s three casinos.
Carney says it was a tough decision to choose public health precautions over the livelihood of service industry workers.
"We wrested with that all day," Carney said. "“All the states around us were making those decisions, and so we couldn’t afford to have people streaming over the borders from Maryland, Pennsylvania and maybe even to New Jersey.”
Carney adds he will be looking for provisions in recent federal legislation that might offer unemployment benefits for restauraunt workers, and his executive order says the Delaware Secretary of Labor is authorized to develop emergency rules, amending the Delaware Unemployment Insurance Code.
"In a normal situation, we've got an unemployment fund that can accomodate a certain amount of folks that are out of work, but this will be a situation that is beyond that fund," said Carney.
The order also bans gatherings of 50 or more people per a CDC recommendation and allows the Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA) and the Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) to deploy the Delaware National Guard if needed to cancel gatherings.
The order also bans crowd of more than 10 a senior centers and assisted living facilities.
These latest restrictions come as the Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) announces the eighth presumed case of COVID-19 in the First State.
Officials say the New Castle County woman is over the age of 50, is not severely ill and is self-isolated at home. She was exposed to the virus out of state and has minimal close contacts in Delaware.
Testing in Delaware has increased in recent days with Delaware health systems submitting samples to private labs.
State officials say going forward Delaware will only release the number of positive COVID-19 cases in Delaware, and not the numbers of patients under investigation.
This story has been updated.