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Politics & Government
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 makes the case for continued restrictions on indoor businesses

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Delaware Public Media
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Delaware’s capacity restrictions for indoor businesses remain in place as neighboring states open things up a bit.

The state of Pennsylvania announced recently it’s opening restaurants to 75 percent capacity next month and Maryland lifted its restrictions on indoor capacity weeks ago.

Gov. Carney announced an easing of outdoor restrictions in Delaware this week, but kept in place a 50 percent cap on all indoor businesses—New Jersey has a similar policy. Carney says the restrictions on indoor gathering are still necessary for safety.

“It’ll be better in the long run, because we’ll be able to get through this—more quickly get to a safer community as we get more people vaccinated and get indoor establishments opened up more fully,” said Carney.   

Delaware’s health agency continues to enforce its restrictions on business locally. As of a week ago, the state had assessed 47 fines to businesses for non-compliance totaling $46,600, according to a DIvsion of Public Health spokesperson. A few businesses have been forced to shut down, but the spokesperson could not confirm the number.

Carney makes the case that Maryland’s protocols on distanced seating make the restaurant capacity in that state similar to 50 percent.

“I think as a practical matter, there is not a lot of difference between where we are. There might be some difference psychologically, but in terms of how many people you can fit into an establishment compared to where we are and the states around us,” he said. “And we will continue to look at those numbers and make appropriate changes going forward.”   

Carney adds he doesn’t believe the necessary distancing will be possible with Pennsylvania’s planned capacity increase.   

There’s been a slight uptick of COVID cases recently in Delaware and in its three closest neighboring states—similar to dozens of states across the country.

Delaware’s seven-day average of cases is now just over 285 with 134 hospitalizations statewide.

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