Delaware limits restaurants to take-out and delivery; bans gatherings of 50+ people; closes gaming at casinos

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Tuesday, March 17, 2020
Action News coverage of the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak

DOVER, Delaware (WPVI) -- The governor of Delaware announced several sweeping measures designed to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

The measures are similar to steps taking in Philadelphia and throughout the state of Pennsylvania, as well as New Jersey.

The following was released by Governor John Carney:

Governor John Carney on Monday modified his March 12 emergency declaration to limit Delaware restaurants, taverns and bars to take-out and delivery service only to help prevent spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Governor Carney's updated emergency declaration - which takes effect at 8:00 p.m. tonight, March 16 - also bans public gatherings of 50 or more people, consistent with updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and closes gaming activity at Delaware casinos.

Monday's modification to Governor Carney's emergency declaration also gives Delaware's Secretary of Labor authorization to develop emergency rules to protect Delaware workers and ensure that unemployment benefits are available for Delawareans whose jobs are affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

"These restrictions will hit Delaware's restaurants and bars especially hard," said Governor Carney. "Delawareans should continue to support these businesses, and their workers, by ordering take-out or delivery. Restaurants also remain a critical source of food for vulnerable populations. But this is a very serious situation, with a significant amount of uncertainty. If you gather with 50 people or more, you are only increasing the risk that more Delawareans will come in contact with this virus. Let's not make a challenging situation worse."

On Thursday, March 12, Governor Carney issued a State of Emergency declaration to mobilize state resources to prepare for the spread of coronavirus across Delaware.

Delawareans with questions about COVID-19 or their exposure risk can call the Division of Public Health's Coronavirus Call Center at 1-866-408-1899 or 711 for people who are hearing impaired from 8:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, or email For the latest on Delaware's response, go to

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