Gov Carney Issues State of Emergency Declaration to Combat Winter Surge of Coronavirus & Hospitalizations


Governor John Carney on Monday issued a new State of Emergency (SOE) declaration, effective today, January 3, 2022, to combat the winter surge of COVID-19 and hospitalizations. 

Click here to read the full text of Governor Carney’s State of Emergency declaration.

“We still face a very serious situation with COVID-19 in Delaware, especially in our hospital facilities,” said Governor Carney. “The best thing Delawareans can do to support those frontline health care workers is to remain vigilant – and do what works. After two years of this pandemic, we all know what to do. Mask up in public places to protect yourself and vulnerable family members. Get your vaccine. And get a booster if you’re eligible. That’s the best way to prevent serious illness and hospitalization.”

The new State of Emergency declaration will:

  • Allow the Public Health Authorities to set aside regulations in order to combat the surge in cases.
  • Increase bed capacity in acute care facilities with assurances for adequate staffing, maintenance, and safety, and approval by the Division of Public Health (DPH).
  • Enable members of the Delaware National Guard to work as certified nursing assistants (CNAs) in skilled nursing facilities to care for patients currently in Delaware hospitals. 

Approximately 100 members of the Delaware National Guard are currently being trained to become CNAs. 

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The Delaware State Senate posted a response to the Governor’s announcement last week of the impending State of Emergency.

The Senate Republican Caucus recognizes the challenges facing our hospitals’ staff and first responders throughout the state. To address these issues, Governor Carney today announced he will be issuing a state of emergency effective this coming Monday, January 3, 2022.

We have no doubt that the Delaware National Guard will provide much needed assistance to combat COVID-19 within our hospitals. We thank those in service for continuing to step up to the plate and providing aid where needed.

We do, however, urge Governor Carney to immediately rescind the order once the situation in our hospitals improve. We oppose any possible implementation of mandates like what we saw nearly two years ago, such as a statewide face-covering order and capacity limits in businesses and restaurants.
Today’s announcement reinforces the need for legislation to allow eligible National Guard members to quickly be credentialed as Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) and, thus, alleviating the need for a state of emergency like what will go in place on Monday. This and other measures such as House Bill 49, which would require the General Assembly to approve the renewal of a state of emergency beyond the initial 30 days (as currently written), will be of high priority when the Legislature reconvenes on January 11, 2022.