After extending the State of Emergency for another month, Governor John Carney discussed the coronavirus pandemic during his Tuesday update. The recent uptick in positive cases at the beach areas has shown in an increase in numbers in the 18 to 35 group – which now nearly equals the 35 to 50 age group.
Delaware has recently been included with other states like Florida and Arizona which have seen huge increases of positive coronavirus tests after reopening. Governor Carney feels its wrong for neighboring governors to include Delaware as our percent positive is just over 5%(5% or lower is Gov Carney’s target) – where Arizona is at 25.3%. The Governor added that much of our uptick is the increase in testing after senior beach week, which has increased our positive test numbers. There have been over 4000 tests done in the Rehoboth-Dewey area with 264 positive returns.
The upcoming school year was also discussed by Governor Carney. The three school reopening workgroups have met several times and have made recommendations to Education Secretary Susan Bunting. Those recommendations are now being reviewed by the Division of Public Health. The Governor says that the goal is as much in-person instruction as possible – that’s safe for the students and staff.
Enforcement of the requirements for businesses is being done to be sure they’re telling customers what is needed – face coverings, social distancing, hygiene, etc. Public Health Director Dr. Karyl Rattay says that many establishments are following the guidance that’s been provided, however there are others who have been resistant. She says that over 700 complaints have been received in the past 2 weeks statewide to HSPcontact@delaware.gov. Many of the complaints have been investigated – but there have been improvements to many. Inspectors found 38 locations where there were no violations. However for establishments that continue to violate the requirements – they could face fines or even be shut down for non-compliance.
Governor Carney does not want to return to Phase 1 – with businesses being closed again – and the closure of bars in the beach areas last weekend was a targeted closure after the increase in positive cases in the Rehoboth-Dewey area. He said that he’s confident that Delawareans will do their part to keep the curve flat so that we can move into Phase 3, which will open the state’s economy even more. There still no time-frame for the start of Phase 3 – and the results of the July 4th weekend won’t be known for several more days.
Public Health plans to increase the information that’s available at My Healthy Community and will cut back the daily reports on the coronavirus numbers to once a week. The My Healthy Community database will continue to be updated daily for those looking for all the numbers and information regarding coronavirus in Delaware.