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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 COVID rules enforcement getting stricter with fines and penalties for businesses

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via State of Delaware Livestream
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The state of Delaware is sending out more enforcement teams to ensure businesses are following the state guidelines.

 

And they’re starting to issue heavier penalties.

 

The Division of Public Health increased the number of on-site checks it's doing over the past couple of weeks, and they are stricter.

 

“We were not as patient with some of the facilities as we had been in the past," said Health Systems Protection Chief Jamie Mack Tuesday. "So we have now issued fines and we’ve taken some other enforcement actions.”

 

Mack says face covering enforcement continues to be the most common complaint against businesses. He says many businesses are effective at social distancing practices, but need to work on making sure everyone wears a mask.

 

He adds DPH is shifting focus from the beaches to the college areas. With some colleges returning to in person learning, like Delaware State University, it’s important to make sure local businesses are enforcing safety practices.

 

He adds his teams also make an effort to check some places on the weekends, when business might be more swamped and take less precautions to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.

 

And whenever they visit, Mack notes the teams are ready to take the most appropriate approach, even shutting a business down on sight, if the scene is unsafe.

 

“We’re still always gonna look to provide information on that first visit. The second visit, we’ve done fines, we’ve done closures and as I’ve said, sometimes we go out for that first visit, it’s bad enough that we have taken action right away.”

 

His team conducted over 400 business checks in August.  That push will continue through September.

Roman Battaglia grew up in Portland, Ore, and now reports for Delaware Public Media as a Report For America corps member. He focuses on politics, elections and legislation activity at the local, county and state levels.
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