Governor Carney Directs Two-Week Closure of Delaware Public Schools

State to close schools March 16 through 27 to prepare for potential spread of coronavirus (COVID-19)

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney on Friday directed all Delaware public schools close from March 16-27, to allow schools to prepare for potential spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). The following is an excerpt from a letter Governor Carney sent to superintendents and charter school leaders on Friday:

Over the next two weeks, the State of Delaware will work with school leaders and public health experts to create a plan for Delaware students and educators as this coronavirus outbreak continues. We will specifically prepare for the potential impact of extended school closures on Delaware children and their families. Public school leaders should also undertake a deep cleaning of their facilities during the two-week closure. 

Delaware children deserve a world-class education, and ongoing access to services that are delivered in our schools each day. Many students – especially those from disadvantaged communities – also rely on school meals for nutrition, and other important social services. We will be working with districts to plan for providing learning opportunities and other meal and social services for our students in the event of an extended closure.

Read the full letter here.

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DPH Provides Update on Individuals Being Tested

DOVER (March 13, 2020) – The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) is providing an update on the number of individuals currently being tested for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

In Delaware, a total of 72 individuals have been tested for COVID-19, including the 4 individuals who tested positive for the disease (these results are pending confirmation from the CDC). A total of 36 tests returned negative results, and 32 persons under investigation are awaiting test results. DPH is currently monitoring 54 individuals.

Testing for coronavirus disease is not recommended for individuals who do not have any symptoms of illness. For individuals who have symptoms of illness (fever, cough, or shortness of breath), their primary care provider can collect specimens and send them to either the Delaware Public Health Lab or LabCorp for testing. Medical providers should evaluate patients and rule out other causes of illness first before recommending testing for COVID-19.

While testing for the disease at the Public Health Lab requires DPH approval, providers do not need DPH approval to submit test samples to LabCorp. With the addition of commercial lab testing now available, Delaware has enough capacity to accommodate its current testing needs. Providers can use flu kits to collect a nasal swab for testing. Commercial labs are required to report testing and results to DPH.

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 DPHCall@delaware.gov. For the latest on Delaware’s response, go to de.gov/coronavirus.

DPH will continue to update the public as more information becomes available. For more information, visit de.gov/coronavirus.


DelDOT Shares Update on Public Services

Due to the presence of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Delaware and the direction of medical professionals, the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) has implemented several additional measures to clean facilities and vehicles used by the public to help limit the spread of the illness.

At Delaware’s four motor vehicle service centers, three toll plazas, and two rest areas, additional cleaning is taking place throughout the day including disinfecting all public seating, as well as door handles, kiosks, and counters.

“DelDOT provides services to thousands of Delawareans each day, and we want to do all we can to ensure their safety and that of our employees as we work together to limit the spread of Coronavirus,” said Secretary of Transportation Jennifer Cohan.

For customers who use public transportation, all DART buses have been thoroughly disinfected with vital oxide antimicrobial spraying solution and we are thoroughly cleaning areas of frequent contact each night to keep our buses as clean as possible.

Also, out of an abundance of caution, DelDOT has cancelled three upcoming public workshops:
March 24 – Public Workshop for Bridge 3-714 on New Road over Canary Creek at the Lewes Public Library
March 25 – Public Workshop for Old Kennett Road Retaining Walls at the Centerville Layton School
March 31 – Public Workshop for SR1/Cave Neck Road GSI at Lewes Fire Station #2

The Department is working to make the information for each of these projects available to the public through virtual workshops.

The safety and well-being our customers and employees are our top priority. We know the importance of connecting people to their destinations, safely, and efficiently. We are closely monitoring this rapidly evolving situation through Delaware’s Division of Public Health and the CDC to ensure that we have the most up-to-date information to guide our operations.

If you are feeling sick, please do not visit public facilities and avoid public transportation. For more information on the state’s response to the Coronavirus, visit de.gov/coronavirus.


DelDOT Urges Use of DMV Online Services

In support of the State of Emergency issued by Governor Carney advising the public against gathering in large crowds, the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) is strongly encouraging customers who are in need of Division of Motor Vehicle (DMV) services to utilize mydmv.delaware.gov which offers more than 20 services online, including renewal of Delaware Driver License/ID, renewing vehicle registration, and changing your home address.

Also, to keep DMV Lobby crowds to a minimum, DMV will immediately begin waiving late fees for vehicle registration and driver license renewals until further notice. The Department is also encouraging exclusive use of the drive through services at all DMV locations statewide.

“Out of an abundance of caution, we do not want anyone to feel that they must visit one of our facilities in person at this time to avoid late fees,” said Secretary of Transportation Jennifer Cohan.

To further protect customers and employees, all DMV locations have increased their cleaning and disinfecting efforts. For example; eye machines, kiosks, and testing equipment are being disinfected after each in person customer interaction.

We are closely monitoring this rapidly evolving situation through Delaware’s Division of Public Health and the CDC to ensure that we have the most up-to-date information to guide our operations.

If you are feeling sick, please do not visit public facilities and avoid public transportation. For more information on the state’s response to the Coronavirus, visit de.gov/coronavirus.


DNREC postpones public events

DOVER, Del. – As public health officials continue to monitor and respond to the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control is focused on taking a proactive and preventative approach to keep communities safe.

Governor John Carney has issued a State of Emergency declaration to help prepare for the spread of this disease. All state offices, parks and education centers remain open during normal operating hours at this time, but the Department is implementing social distancing measures.

On Friday, DNREC divisions and programs began postponing events in the next two weeks expected to have more than 100 attendees, to include volunteer cleanups, meetings and conferences scheduled. Events being postponed include the annual DuPont Nature Center spring cleanup scheduled for Saturday, March 14 and the annual beach grass planting at multiple beaches in the state scheduled for Saturday, March 21.

Additional events and programs, regardless of attendance numbers, may also be postponed.

Information about whether individual events are to be postponed or will continue will be posted to the online events calendar, parks program calendar and social media pages, Facebook and Twitter.

For the latest information in Delaware, visit de.gov/coronavirus.

About DNREC

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities and educates Delawareans about the environment. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contact: Nikki Lavoie, nikki.lavoie@delaware.gov

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