Gov. John Carney announced a new round of state restrictions Nov. 17, limiting crowds and restaurant capacity to slow community spread of COVID-19.
“These are difficult decisions, but we face a difficult and challenging winter,” he said in a press release. “COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are rising in Delaware and across the country. Nearly 250,000 Americans, including 736 Delawareans, have already lost their lives to this virus. Our focus must be on protecting lives.”
The latest round of restrictions will begin 8 a.m. Monday, Nov. 23, and include the following:
- Indoor gatherings in homes must be capped at no more than 10 people.
- Indoor gatherings outside of homes must be limited to 30 percent of the venue’s stated fire capacity, up to a cap of 50 people. This includes all events, such as weddings, funerals, services in houses of worship, performances, political gatherings, and events in public spaces including fire halls.
- Outdoor public gatherings are limited to 50 people. Up to 250 may be allowed with a plan approved by the Delaware Division of Public Health.
- Restaurants must operate at no more than 30 percent of fire capacity indoors, with allowances for additional outdoor seating.
Youth sports which participated in tournaments throughout the summer now have new restrictions. Carney’s order prohibits Delaware youth sports organizations, teams and venues from hosting or participating in tournaments with out-of-state teams, effective at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 1. The order includes a provision prohibiting Delaware teams from traveling across states lines for tournaments.
Based on a weekly review of publicly available data, DPH continues to recommend that K-12 public schools operate in a hybrid model with a mix of in-person and remote instruction.
For businesses that have been economically hurt by the shutdown, Carney also announced an expansion of the DE Relief Grants program. The expansion will provide up to $25 million in additional relief for hundreds of businesses that have been disproportionately impacted. Qualifying businesses, including restaurants and taprooms, will receive double their original grant allocation.
The DE Relief Grants program – funded by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act – is providing more than $150 million in direct assistance to Delaware small businesses statewide. The application deadline is Dec. 4, and can be found at delbiz.com/relief.
“We will also continue to support the Delaware families and small businesses who have been hardest hit by this crisis,” he said. “Let’s all do our part to slow the spread of COVID-19. Wear a mask. Celebrate the holidays with immediate family only. Stay vigilant.”