Restrictions on businesses and sports competitions are set to ease in Gov. John Carney’s latest emergency declaration announced Feb. 4.
In his sixth modification to his Omnibus State of Emergency Declaration, Carney will allow restaurants, gyms, retail, churches and other businesses to operate at 50 percent of fire code capacity – up from the 30 percent to which businesses had been held. However, social distancing requirements remain in effect under the latest measure that will begin at 8 a.m., Friday, Feb. 12.
Just in time for high school winter sports tournaments, the order also allows youth and amateur sports tournaments to resume with a plan approved by the Division of Public Health. Delawareans who travel out of state for sports tournaments and competitions are no longer required to self-quarantine, although DPH strongly encourages them to do so.
As Delaware’s vaccine program continues to roll out, the order ensures that vaccinations provided by pharmacies and healthcare providers remain free of charge, even though insurance information may be collected. Enrolled vaccination providers must follow eligibility criteria in Delaware's COVID-19 vaccination program, as defined by the Division of Public Health. Failure to comply with data-reporting requirements may result in fines for providers and reductions in vaccine allocation. Carney’s latest order requires Delaware vaccination providers to report complete demographic information to the Delaware Immunization Information System within 24 hours of administering a vaccine.
In changes that took effect Feb. 4, the modification prohibits price gouging, and also allows Delawareans to cast absentee ballots in 2021 municipal elections due to COVID-19.
“We are administering more vaccines each day, and we continue to see improvement in our COVID-19 case rates and hospitalizations statewide. That’s good news, but it’s no reason to let our guard down,” Carney said in a press release. “We need to make sure we’re distributing the vaccine equitably across our state. That is a priority. And we need to limit community spread of this virus. We know what works ... There is a light at the end of the tunnel.”