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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 Public Health cracking down on COVID-19 rules violations

Sophia Schmidt, Delaware Public Media

The state is cracking down on restaurants and others violating new rules related to COVID-19.

At the Delaware’s weekly coronavirus update Tuesday, state Public Health Director Dr. Karyl Rattay outlined recent steps her division has taken to enforce coronavirus requirements in bars and restaurants.

She says DPH has received more than 700 complaint emails in the last two weeks submitted through the state’s Health Systems Protection email. These led to phone calls and 220 inspections at Delaware eateries—mostly in the beach area where a recent uptick of COVID-19 cases has been documented. 

Rattay says further enforcement may be coming for some. 

“There are some places, not many, but some who are very resistant to making the changes that they need to,” said Rattay. “And so the next step for these will include fines and possible shutdowns for those businesses who are non-compliant.”     

Rattay says inspectors have found staff in some establishments not wearing face coverings as well as other violations.

“Socially distancing requirements not being enforced as well as some restaurants were not using reservation systems or a system to effectively manage incoming guests,” she said. “Additionally, some places did not have appropriate signage.”     

38 sites visited during the two-week enforcement campaign had no violations.