Governor Carney Updates Omnibus COVID-19 Emergency Order

Latest modification updates gathering limits 

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney on Friday signed the Seventh Modification to the Omnibus Emergency Order, increasing gathering limits for indoor events with restrictions in place to prevent spread of COVID-19. 

Under the latest order, ​the limit on gatherings at businesses and other indoor spaces ​is increased from the current limit of 10 people. The new limit is a maximum of 25 people or 50 percent of stated fire occupancy restrictions, whichever is less. Organizers may ​submit a plan to the Division of Public Health (DPH) to host larger events up to 150 people. Outdoor gatherings are limited to 50 people, or up to 250 with an approved plan from DPH. The limit for private indoor gatherings or events, such as dinner parties, house parties, and birthday parties, remains at 10 people.

Event organizers must email DPH at HSPContact@delaware.gov at least a week prior to the event ​for permission to host indoor gatherings over 25 people, up to 150 people, or outdoor gatherings over 50 people, up to 250 people. Businesses and other event hosts also must continue to follow state and local COVID-19 restrictions, including masking and social distancing requirements. Indoor gatherings with fewer than 25 people and outdoor gatherings with fewer than 50 people do not require a plan, but must follow all other applicable requirements.

The order also raises the group exercise class capacity to 15 people, excluding staff, with additional restrictions in place. 

Click here to read the seventh modification.

Click here to read the Omnibus COVID-19 Emergency Order.

“We are making progress in our fight against COVID-19. Hospitalizations are down more than 50 percent from our winter peak, and Delaware providers have administered more than 164,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine,” said Governor Carney. “But let’s keep doing what works until we can get enough Delawareans vaccinated. Wear a mask. Avoid large gatherings where this virus can spread. Wash or sanitize your hands frequently. Stay vigilant.”

Also on Friday, Governor Carney extended the COVID-19 emergency order another 30 days to confront the spread of COVID-19 in the State of Delaware. 

Click here to read emergency extension. 

Learn more about Delaware’s COVID-19 vaccination program at de.gov/covidvaccine. Find information about COVID-19 vaccine second doses at de.gov/seconddose.

Are you 65 or older? Sign up for the State of Delaware’s vaccination waiting list at vaccinerequest.delaware.gov. Delawareans also may call DPH’s Vaccination Call Center at 1-833-643-1715.

Individuals with general questions about COVID-19 should call Delaware 2-1-1. Those who are deaf or hard of hearing can text their ZIP code to 898-211, or email delaware211@uwde.org. Hours of operation are 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Medically related questions regarding testing, symptoms, and health-related guidance can be submitted by email at DPHCall@delaware.gov.  

Visit de.gov/coronavirus for the latest information on Delaware’s COVID-19 response. Find testing events and locations at de.gov/gettested.  

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Governor Carney, DPH, DEMA Announce Community COVID-19 Testing Sites

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney, the Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH), and the Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA) announced the list of community testing sites throughout Delaware next week. Testing locations listed below include pop-up and Curative trailer sites, as well as community sites hosted by New Castle County.

“Testing is the best way to track the spread of COVID-19 and monitor for outbreaks. But it’s not a replacement for basic public health measures during a pandemic,” said Governor Carney. “Wear a mask. Wash your hands. Avoid gathering with friends and family outside of your household. I know this holiday season is different and it’s hard. But stay vigilant and we’ll get through this.”

DEMA has coordinated community sites this week in addition to sites at Walgreens and at various hospitals and health care locations. Delawareans can view a full list of COVID-19 testing options and locations at de.gov/gettested.

Delawareans are encouraged to check the State of Delaware’s new testing calendar for updates as more pop-up testing locations are confirmed.

Testing sites with a fixed schedule, such as pharmacies, may have different holiday hours. Please check with the testing location ahead of time to confirm availability.

In the event of inclement weather, testing location updates will be posted to the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services’ social media accounts (FacebookTwitter, and Instagram).

New Castle County Pop-Up Testing Locations

  • Monday, December 28 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.: Delcastle Technical High School (1417 Newport Rd, Wilmington, DE 19804) Register: delaware.curativeinc.com
  • Monday, December 28 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.: Frawley Stadium (801 Shipyard Dr, Wilmington, DE 19801) Register: delaware.curativeinc.com
  • Monday, December 28 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.: Elsmere Library (30 Spruce Ave, Wilmington, DE 19805) Register: delaware.curativeinc.com
  • Monday, December 28 from 12 a.m. – 6 p.m.: Middletown High School (120 Silver Lake Rd, Middletown, DE 19709) Registration information will be added to testing calendar: de.gov/gettested
  • Tuesday, December 29 from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.: Prices Run Park, Winchester Park (Walk Up Only – 26th and Pine Streets, Wilmington, DE 19802) Register: delaware.curativeinc.com
  • Tuesday, December 29 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.: PS DuPont Middle School (701 W 34th St, Wilmington, DE 19802) Register: delaware.curativeinc.com
  • Tuesday, December 29 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.: Warner Elementary School (801 W 18th St, Wilmington, DE 19802) Register: delaware.curativeinc.com
  • Wednesday, December 30 from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.: Henrietta Johnson Medical Center (601 New Castle Avenue, Wilmington, DE 19801) Register by calling: 302-655-6187
  • Wednesday, December 30 from 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.: ChristianaCare Christiana Hospital, Portal 1 Parking (4755 Ogletown Stanton Rd, Newark, DE 19718) Register: delaware.curativeinc.com
  • Wednesday, December 30 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.: Middletown High School (120 Silver Lake Rd, Middletown, DE 19709) Register: delaware.curativeinc.com
  • Wednesday, December 30 from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.: Father Tucker Park (Walk Up Only – 1801 Howland St, Wilmington, DE 19805) Register: delaware.curativeinc.com
  • Wednesday, December 30 from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.: Henrietta Johnson Medical Center (601 New Castle Avenue, Wilmington, DE 19801) Register by calling: 302-655-6187
  • Thursday, December 31 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.: PS DuPont Middle School (701 W 34th St, Wilmington, DE 19802) Register: delaware.curativeinc.com
  • Thursday, December 31 from 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.: Henrietta Johnson Medical Center (601 New Castle Avenue, Wilmington, DE 19801) Register by calling: 302-655-6187
  • Saturday, January 2 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.: University of Delaware STAR Campus (540 S College Ave, Newark, DE 19713) Register: delaware.curativeinc.com
  • Saturday, January 2 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.: New Castle County Government Center (87 Reads Way, New Castle, DE 19720) Register: delaware.curativeinc.com
  • Saturday, January 2 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.: Henrietta Johnson Medical Center (601 New Castle Avenue, Wilmington, DE 19801) Register by calling: 302-655-6187

Kent County Pop-Up Testing Locations

  • Monday, December 28 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.: Hartly Fire Company (2898 Arthursville Rd, Hartly, DE 19953) Register: delaware.curativeinc.com
  • Tuesday, December 29 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.: Caesar Rodney High School (239 Old North Rd, Camden, DE 19934) Register: delaware.curativeinc.com
  • Tuesday, December 29 from 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.: Lake Forest East Elementary School (124 Front St, Frederica, DE 19946) Registration information will be added to testing calendar: de.gov/gettested
  • Wednesday, December 30 from 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.: Dover High School (1 Dover High Dr, Dover, DE 19904) Registration information will be added to testing calendar: de.gov/gettested

Sussex County Pop-Up Testing Locations

  • Tuesday, December 29 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.: Indian River High School (29772 Armory Rd, Dagsboro, DE 19939) Register: delaware.curativeinc.com
  • Wednesday, December 30 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.: Ellendale Fire Department (302 Main St, Ellendale, DE 19941) Register: delaware.curativeinc.com
  • Wednesday, December 30 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.: Mariner Middle School (16391 Harbeson Rd, Milton, DE 19968) Register: delaware.curativeinc.com
  • Saturday, January 2 from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.: Cape Henlopen High School (1250 Kings Hwy, Lewes, DE 19958) Register: delaware.curativeinc.com

Anyone with a question about COVID-19 should call Delaware 2-1-1. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing can text their ZIP code to 898-211. Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Delawareans over the age of 18 are encouraged to download COVID Alert DE, Delaware’s free COVID exposure notification app. Download on the AppStore or Google Play.

Report a business for COVID-19 non-compliance using this form. 

The Division of Public Health will continue to update the public as more information becomes available. For the latest on Delaware’s response, go to de.gov/coronavirus.


DNREC to Temporarily Close Park Offices Starting Dec. 24

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control will close all park offices within Delaware State Parks starting Thursday, Dec. 24 through Jan. 11, 2021, to limit the spread of COVID-19.

The closures coincide with Gov. John Carney’s latest stay-at-home advisory, which strongly urges Delawareans to avoid gathering indoors with anyone from outside their households during the advisory timeframe.

Those who wish to purchase Delaware State Parks Annual Passes and Surf-Fishing Permits while park offices are closed may still do so online at www.destateparks.com/know/passestagsfees.

While state park bathrooms close each winter and portable toilets will remain in place at select sites, guests are asked to plan accordingly as restrooms may be unavailable in some areas.

For more information about Delaware State Parks, visit  www.destateparks.com.

 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. The Division of Parks and Recreation oversees more than 26,000 acres in 17 state parks and the Brandywine Zoo. For more information, visit the website and connect with DNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Shauna McVey, shauna.mcvey@delaware.gov or Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov.

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Gov. Carney, DPH Announce 750 Vaccines Administered First Week, Share First Vaccinations, Prepare Moderna Distribution

DOVER (Dec. 18, 2020) – Since the first pre-ordered doses of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine were delivered on Monday, Dec. 14, 750 vaccines have been administered to health care staff at the State’s six health systems and three sites of one long-term care organization. On Thursday, Delaware became one of the first states in the nation to offer vaccines to enrolled long-term health care workers. State officials strongly encourage people to get the vaccine as it becomes available to them under the vaccine’s phased rollout.

The 750 vaccines administered are current as of Friday at noon. The numbers of those vaccinated continue to change rapidly as more frontline workers receive the vaccine and not all reporting is completed in real-time. Up-to-date vaccine totals are expected to be posted at de.gov/healthycommunity in the coming days.

“Our frontline health care workers continue to lead by example, and I want to thank all of those Delawareans who rolled up their sleeves this week and received the vaccine,” said Governor Carney. “Your hard work and leadership will get us through this crisis. As our health care workers know, we continue to face a winter surge of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. Let’s all do our part, and do what works. Wear a mask. Don’t gather with friends or family outside your household. Stay vigilant.”

“We are so grateful to the health care community for embracing the arrival of this vaccine,” said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. “You are leading the way and demonstrating the importance of taking the vaccine to your friends, family and patients.”

Some of the first Delaware health care workers to receive the vaccine this first week were:

  • Elisabeth Cote, a progressive care unit nurse at Bayhealth’s Kent County campus, was the first health care worker in Delaware to receive the vaccine.
  • Sintia Rodriguez, a nurse at Beebe Healthcare’s emergency department and behavioral health unit, was the first health care worker in Sussex County to receive the vaccine.
  • Kathleen Bonis, RRT, a respiratory therapist with ChristianaCare.
  • Aaron Weaver, MD, a family practice doctor, was the first to receive the vaccine at Saint Francis Healthcare in New Castle County.
  • Vickie Freeman BS, RN, CPN, Department of Pediatrics at Nemours duPont Hospital for Children.
  • Joseph Kim, D.O., a primary care provider with TidalHealth Nanticoke
  • Lisa Wullschleger, Advanced Practice Nurse from Porter State Service Center in Wilmington, Division of Public Health Clinic
  • Warren Burke, executive director at Silver Lake Center, Genesis HealthCare in Dover, was the first long-term care staff member to receive the vaccine; Center Nursing Executive, Kerri Watson, RN, was the first at Genesis Milford Center to receive the vaccine.

DPH, which is coordinating the state’s vaccine distribution efforts, expects to receive an additional 2,925 doses of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine next week, with additional supply being set aside through the federal long-term care/pharmacy program partnership.

DPH also is preparing for the expected U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). The FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) met on Thursday and voted to approve Moderna’s EUA request, which would allow vaccination for ages 18 and older. The FDA and the CDC’s Advisory Committee are also expected to vote Friday night and Saturday, respectively. Should they approve the request, DPH expects to receive 16,700 doses of the Moderna vaccine within days of the approval, which will go to hospitals, EMS, Health Centers such as La Red Medical Center, Westside Family Health and Henrietta Johnson Medical Center, DPH clinics, and others to continue to vaccinate staff.

The FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are advising women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, individuals who have experienced allergic reactions to other vaccines and those who have compromised immune systems to discuss the benefits and risks of taking the vaccine with their medical provider before receiving it.

The potential side effects from the vaccine are similar to those experienced by people who receive the flu shot: soreness at the injection site, fever, headaches, and body aches that usually go away within 24 hours. Unless symptoms worsen or linger, there is no need to seek medical care. Pfizer reported no serious side effects from the vaccine, and there were no deaths directly linked to the vaccine itself. The FDA and CDC will continue to monitor the COVID-19 vaccine for safety and effectiveness and any long-term or rare side effects.

DPH has set up a Vaccine Call Center at 302-672-6150. People who are deaf and hard of hearing should call 2-1-1 or text their ZIP code to 898-211. Individuals can email their questions concerning the vaccine to Vaccine@Delaware.gov and visit de.gov/covidvaccine for more information.


Governor Carney, DPH Announce Arrival of Delaware’s First Shipment of the COVID-19 Vaccine

DOVER (Dec. 14, 2020) – Governor John Carney and the Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) announced today that Delaware has received its first shipment of the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine Monday. Delaware, which pre-ordered its 8,775 doses of the Pfizer vaccine, is estimated to be one of the first states in the nation to receive it.

“The Pfizer vaccine’s arrival is the first step in a process of getting back to our pre-pandemic normal,” said Governor John Carney. “We are all looking forward to that. The vaccine will provide our front-line health care workers with the protection they need while caring for Delawareans who have contracted the virus. The vaccine’s arrival does not mean we are in the clear. In fact, now more than ever, we need to step up our efforts to keep each other safe. That means wear a mask, wash your hands, and do not gather with your friends and family outside of your household. We know that’s hard, particularly at this time of year, but we are almost through this. We just need to stand firm in our resolve to beat the virus.”

The first shipment of the Pfizer vaccine arrived at Bayhealth’s Kent County location. DPH expects to receive the remainder of the vaccine doses on Wednesday. DPH will begin scheduling delivery to the remainder of the state’s health systems upon receipt. If they are prepared, the hospitals can then begin vaccinating staff within 24 hours.

“We are proud to be among our nation’s first health care leaders to receive the much-anticipated COVID-19 vaccine,” said Bayhealth President and CEO Terry M. Murphy, FACHE. “The speed by which we were able to accept the vaccine is a testament to our drive to ensure our facilities are always safe, always open, and always ready. Our team members who are on the frontlines caring for COVID-19 patients will be among the first to receive the vaccine.”

“We know that our frontline health care workers have been putting themselves directly in harm’s way since March,” said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. “We are encouraging all of them to get the vaccine when it is available. The Pfizer vaccine has been tested on 40,000 Americans, including people of color, in three clinical trials. The side effects are considered minor. The vaccine is the best protection we can offer health care workers to keep them safe at a critical time in this pandemic.”

DPH has devised a three-tier strategy for distribution:

Phase 1a: Health care personnel, emergency medical services agencies, and long-term care staff and residents will receive the vaccine first.

Remainder of Phase 1: In early 2021, those who work in high-risk and critical infrastructure industries such as food processing, utilities, education, police and fire, those who work and live in congregate settings such as correctional facilities and homeless shelters, as well as those with certain underlying health conditions, and are aged 65 and older are likely to receive the vaccine.

Phase 2: (March 2021) Those with more moderate risk for getting COVID-19 are eligible for receiving the vaccine. More details about specific groups in this phase will be provided as we get closer.

Phase 3: (Spring/Summer 2021) The general public can expect to receive vaccines through their primary health care providers, health centers and pharmacies as the vaccine becomes more widely available.

While DPH does not plan to mandate the vaccine, it is strongly encouraging that people, particularly health care workers, get vaccinated once doses become available.

The Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine was granted Emergency Use Authorization by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration Friday evening. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) also voted Saturday to recommend the use of the vaccine for individuals 16 and older under the emergency use authorization.

Children under the age of 16 are not included in the initial three phases of the vaccine’s rollout, as the FDA has not yet approved its use for individuals who fall into this category. More clinical trials involving children under 16 are still needed.

The FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is advising women who are breastfeeding, individuals who have experienced allergic reactions to other vaccines and those who have compromised immune systems should discuss the benefits and risks of taking the vaccine with their medical provider before receiving it.

The potential side effects from the vaccine are similar to those experienced by people who receive the flu shot: soreness at the injection site, fever, headaches, and body aches that usually go away within 24 hours. Unless symptoms worsen or linger, there is no need to seek medical care. Pfizer reported no serious side effects from the vaccine, and there were no deaths directly linked to the vaccine itself. The FDA and CDC will continue to monitor the COVID-19 vaccine for safety and effectiveness and any long-term or rare side effects.

The Pfizer vaccine has a 90 percent effectiveness rate. Comparatively, the flu vaccine is generally 40 to 60 percent effective. The COVID-19 vaccine does not contain a live virus and cannot give individuals the coronavirus.

The Pfizer vaccine does require two doses spaced about three weeks a part to be effective. The same brand of vaccine must be administered for both doses. DPH plans to remind individuals to get their second dose of the vaccine by sending reminder letters, providing automated phone calls and text messages, and by patient record cards.

DPH is in the process of setting up a Vaccine Call Center, which it expects to be operational soon. Individuals can email their questions concerning the vaccine to Vaccine@Delaware.gov. Individuals can also visit de.gov/covidvaccine for up-to-date information. Myhealthycommunity.dhss.delaware.gov/ will also have data soon on the vaccine available.