WILMINGTON, Delaware (WPVI) -- Delaware Governor John Carney announced a new stay-at-home advisory on Thursday, urging all residents to avoid gathering indoors with anyone outside their household to combat the rising COVID-19 cases. The order goes into effect from December 14 and lasts through January 11.
The advisory does not apply to Delawareans in workplaces and traveling to and from their places of work.
Carney is also issuing a universal statewide mask mandate requiring Delawareans to wear a cloth face covering anytime they are indoors with anyone outside their immediate household. A similar mask mandate, which required people to wear masks in public settings where social distancing was not possible, is already in effect. Children under 2 years old are not required to wear masks.
"I do believe the virus is very real, but I just feel like some of the things that they're doing is out of the norm. I just feel like they're just trying to control us," said Brandi Petrucci of Wilmington.
"It's well needed with the surge that's going on right now. It's going to be an inconvenience, but the big picture is I think we need to take another step back," added Charles Stanley.
Carney is also asking Delaware schools to pause in-person learning beginning December 14, transition to virtual learning through January 8 and return to hybrid learning on January 11.
Winter sports competitions will be prohibited from December 14 - January 11, but practices may continue under strict COVID-19 masking and social distancing guidelines.
A total of 37,456 positive COVID-19 cases and 700 deaths have been recorded in the state to date.
MORE DELAWARE COVID-19 HEADLINES
Delaware Governor John Carney expressed concerns Tuesday about the rising number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in the state. Nearly 250 residents are currently in the hospital with coronavirus, and that number is growing.
Hospital leaders have told the governor that they are confident they can manage the surge. Still, officials are reminding everyone to adhere to COVID-19 mitigation guidelines.
Health care workers and nursing home residents should be at the front of the line when the first coronavirus vaccine shots become available, an influential government advisory panel said Tuesday.
A Delaware hospital will play a leading role in administering the vaccine to the region.
Ten freezers just arrived at ChristianaCare in Newark this week and will be able to house the coronavirus vaccine in temperatures as low as -94 degrees.
Hardware store closing
After 37 years in business, a locally-owned hardware store can't survive any longer. New Castle - Do It Best - Hardware Store in Delaware is getting ready to close for good.
Owner Jim Smyth says it's been getting more and more difficult to keep up with big-box stores and online retailers.
Right now, all merchandise is 50% off while supplies last. The store will close by the end of the year.
Delaware issues new restrictions on gatherings, dining, and youth sports; most take effect on Monday
Delaware Governor John Carney announced Tuesday additional restrictions for indoor and outdoor gatherings, indoor dining, and youth sports to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the state.
New COVID-19 testing site to open at Delaware State University in New Castle County
A $5 million COVID-19 testing lab will soon be up and running at Delaware State University's Kirkwood Highway Campus in New Castle County as cases across the country soar.
Moderna Inc. said it would ask U.S. and European regulators Monday to allow emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine as new study results confirm the shots offer strong protection - ramping up the race to begin limited vaccinations as the coronavirus rampage worsens.
The nation's top health officials are warning that recent travelers are at an increased risk of possibly spreading COVID-19 after the Thanksgiving holiday.
Americans should expect more COVID-related restrictions and advisories for the Christmas holiday, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government's top infectious disease expert.
United Airlines has begun shipping the first batches of the COVID-19 vaccine on charter flights, a source told ABC News.
*The Associated Press contributed to this report*