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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.

State eases COVID restrictions on bars in beach towns as busy season ends

Karl Malgiero
Delaware Public Media

Bars in Sussex County beach towns will be able to serve customers without a reservation starting Friday evening. 

Gov. John Carney modified his coronavirus emergency order Thursday to relax restrictions on bars in eastern Sussex County as the busy summer season ends. The requirements dropped include distancing tables 8 feet apart, seating customers at every other booth if needed to maintain distance, and prohibiting customers from standing at a bar. 

The state shut down bars in beach towns for the July 4th weekend following a surge in COVID cases in the beach communities. The bars were allowed to open up again Labor Day weekend, but with specific social distancing requirements. 

Carney, who won reelection Tuesday, said in a statement that even with the looser restrictions, Delawareans and visitors should stay vigilant. He urged them to wear masks, avoid gatherings and wash hands often.

The relaxed restrictions come as the coronavirus outbreak is not letting up in Delaware. 

The number of coronavirus-related deaths in Delaware recently passed 700. The number of new cases each day has trended upward over the last ninety days, with the 7-day average at nearly 170 Wednesday. The percent of people testing positive also trended upward over the past two weeks, with the 7-day average at nearly 10 percent Wednesday. 



Sophia Schmidt is a Delaware native. She comes to Delaware Public Media from NPR’s Weekend Edition in Washington, DC, where she produced arts, politics, science and culture interviews. She previously wrote about education and environment for The Berkshire Eagle in Pittsfield, MA. She graduated from Williams College, where she studied environmental policy and biology, and covered environmental events and local renewable energy for the college paper.
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