On Feb. 19, Gov. John Carney signed the seventh modification to the state of emergency, increasing gathering limits for indoor events with restrictions in place to prevent spread of COVID-19.
The limit on gatherings at businesses and other indoor spaces is increased from the current limit of 10 people. The new limit is a maximum of 25 people or 50 percent of stated fire occupancy restrictions, whichever is less. Organizers may submit a plan to the Division of Public Health to host larger events up to 150 people.
Outdoor gatherings are limited to 50 people, or up to 250 with an approved plan from DPH. The limit for private indoor gatherings or events, such as dinner parties, house parties and birthday parties, remains at 10 people.
Event organizers must email DPH at HSPContact@delaware.gov at least a week prior to an event for permission to host indoor gatherings over 25 people, up to 150 people, or outdoor gatherings over 50 people, up to 250 people. Businesses and other event hosts also must continue to follow state and local COVID-19 restrictions, including masking and social distancing requirements. Indoor gatherings with fewer than 25 people and outdoor gatherings with fewer than 50 people do not require a plan, but must follow all other health requirements.
The order also raises the group exercise class capacity to 15 people, excluding staff.
Move to Phase 1C is delayed
Due to extremely limited supply of the COVID-19 vaccine – and the large number of Phase 1B-eligible Delawareans who have not been vaccinated – state health officials do not expect to open eligibility to all Phase 1C individuals on Monday, March 1, as officials had originally planned. The Division of Public Health intends to begin vaccinating the most vulnerable, Phase 1C-eligible Delawareans as close to March 1 as possible – as federal supply allows.
During a Feb. 22 press conference, Carney said supply will dictate when Phase 1C can begin, but there is no time frame right now.
Included in Phase 1C of the state’s vaccination plan are those aged 16-64 with high-risk medical conditions; those living in congregate and group settings, such as group homes, prisons and homeless shelters; and other essential workers including those in transportation, food service, IT and communications, energy, water and sewer engineering, media, legal, housing construction and finance.
Ferry open to foot passengers, cyclists
As of Feb. 22, the Cape May-Lewes Ferry is open to foot passengers and bicycle traffic with limited space in the interior seating area. Food and beverage service is available as well.
Access to food programs
Delawareans needing help with obtaining food can access options at the following:
School meal sites for children: doe.k12.de.us/page/4149
Access a food pantry: Phone 211 or 1-800-560-3372; text your Zip code to 898-211 or go to delaware211.org
Senior meal boxes: Senior Nutrition Program for those 60 and over, phone 302-444-8129
SNAP benefits: Phone 302-444-8073; WIC benefits: Phone 302-424-7220