Delaware Public Media

Delaware sees COVID-19 cases increase in beach areas

Jun 28, 2020

State health officials urging people in Delaware’s beach areas to get tested for COVID-19.


The request comes after a major testing event in Rehoboth Beach Thursday found about 100 new cases and another testing site in Dewey Beach turned up a dozen cases.




“We are extremely concerned by yet another cluster of COVID-19 cases in the beach area and the potential for spread to others both at work and in social gatherings,” said Delaware’s Div. of Public Health Director Dr. Karyl Rattay in a statement.  “We know that some of the positive persons have been at parties recently, potentially transmitting the virus to others who may still be here or may have returned to their homes in other counties or states."


And Rattay notes the state is also concerned by its own observations and pictures on social media showing people not wearing face coverings or social distancing in the beach area, including at bars and restaurants. 


"Make no mistake, continuing this behavior is a recipe for disaster," said Rattay in her statement. "It is a sure way for us to end up with widespread infection that ultimately may not be contained to the beach area.”


DPH says there is a community-based testing event Monday at the Starboard restaurant in Dewey Beach from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.  Pre-registration for that is full, though a limited number of walk up spots are available.  Another community testing event is scheduled for Thursday at the Epworth United Methodist Church in Rehoboth Beach from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.


Beebe Healthcare is also partnering with the Delaware Restaurant Association (DRA) to offer testing on Monday and Tuesday to staff of any food establishment in or near the beach area.


Those testing events are available:

  • Monday June 29, 2020 from 12:00 p.m. to 2 p.m. at Big Fish Grill, 20298 Coastal Hwy, Rehoboth Beach.  
  • Tuesday June 30, 2020, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Touch of Italy in Rehoboth Beach at 19724 Coastal Hwy.

No pre-registration is required for the Delaware Restaurant Association testing events.  Anyone with questions can call (302) 738-2545.


Delaware added a total of 135 new positive cases Sunday, pushing its total to 11,226 since March 11th


And its 5-day averages for percent of people testing positive and positive cases are trending up. The percent of people testing positive is now at 5.5 and Delaware is now averaging 90 new cases per day.


But hospitalizations held steady 78, with 14 people critically ill.


The state’s death total remains unchanged for a fourth straight day, holding at 507.  Delaware has seen just 3 deaths over the past week.


Overall, over 95,000 COVID-19 tests in the First State have returned negative.