Additional Alternate Care Site Announced

Smryna – The Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA) and the State Health Operations Center (SHOC) are announcing today the plan for an additional alternate care site (ACS) to support Kent and Sussex Counties.  This plan is to accommodate overflow patients from Delaware hospital systems as they begin to experience a surge in patients with coronavirus disease (COVID-19).  This mobile hospital will join the two previously designated: the first on the campus of Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children and the second at Governor Bacon Health Center.

The site will be a collaborative effort between Bayhealth, Nanticoke Memorial Hospital, and Beebe Healthcare.  The three healthcare systems are coordinating their surge plans with county and state officials.  The primary goal is to maintain the surge within current hospitals.  If needed, the state has offered to set up a mobile hospital as an alternate care site.  Triggers have been identified as well as potential locations dependent on surge.  Site evaluations were performed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Delaware National Guard in the weeks preceding.  The Delaware National Guard will provide crucial assistance with preparing, building, and operating this facility.  The field hospital was utilized during a 2016 exercise and the Delaware National Guard stands ready to deploy the unit as previously trained.  The mobile hospital can potentially treat 50-60 patients who do not have COVID-19.  If the site is used for COVID-19 patients that number would be reduced.  Numerous buildings were surveyed, however proximity to existing health care facilities and the accompanying resources are crucial to a successful mission.

The hospitals are managing the patients now with their current staffing but we are preparing for the expected increase in the coming days.  This location, like the New Castle County sites, will be opened to alleviate the surge on hospitals when needed.  We are grateful for the efforts of our partners in the health care systems within the state, the Division of Public Health, and the Delaware National Guard for their continued support.

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Contact: Jeff Sands, Delaware Emergency Management Agency, 302-659-2211.


Alternate Care Sites Announced

SMYRNA (April 6, 2020) – The Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA) and the State Health Operations Center (SHOC) are announcing today the designation of alternate care sites (ACS) in New Castle County to accommodate overflow patients from Delaware hospital systems as they begin to experience a surge in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Sites for the southern part of the state are expected to be announced later this week.

One alternate care site will be Governor Bacon Health Center, the Department of Health and Social Services’ long-term care facility in Delaware City, said DEMA Director A.J. Schall and Public Health Director Dr. Karyl Rattay.

Residents in two units will be transferred over several days this week – along with their current staff – to the Delaware Hospital for the Chronically Ill, another DHSS long-term facility in Smyrna. The residents from Governor Bacon will be placed in a separate unit at the DHCI Campus, isolated from current residents of DHCI. If all transferred residents clear the 14-day quarantine period, they will be integrated with the current residents of DHCI, said DHSS Secretary Dr. Kara Odom Walker, a practicing family physician.

Residents of one unit at Governor Bacon will remain on the second floor for 14 days, with the current staff caring for them. If those residents clear the quarantine period, they also will be transferred to Delaware Hospital for the Chronically Ill.

The residents’ families and Governor Bacon staff have been notified of Governor Bacon’s alternate care site designation and the impending move, Secretary Walker said. As floors of Governor Bacon are made available, they will be deep-cleaned by DHSS before they are used as an alternative care site, Secretary Walker said. When all residents are moved to Delaware Hospital for the Chronically Ill, Dr. Rattay said the State will have the potential of 75 additional beds at Governor Bacon for overflow patients from Delaware’s hospitals. Staffing to care for the potential overflow patients is currently being developed.

“We are grateful to the families of the residents and the staff for understanding why we have to move the residents of Governor Bacon,” Secretary Walker said. “Throughout this crisis, our top priority is the health and safety of our residents and also making sure that our staff who care for our residents are safe and healthy as well.”

Schall and Dr. Rattay said the other alternate care site being announced today by DEMA and SHOC is within Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children. Nemours will only be accepting transfers from Delaware community hospitals of non-COVID-19 adults. 

Nemours duPont Hospital for Children has developed two treatment areas to provide medical care for non-COVID-19 adults. The rehabilitation gym, which is located one floor below the main level and away from pediatric care, has been converted into an alternative care site for low-acuity cases beginning with 38 beds, with possible expansion if needed. A medical intensive care unit will be situated across and separate from the pediatric intensive care unit, and be comprised of 24 beds.   

Nemours’s treatment sites can become operational this week, and will begin providing medical care only once capacity is exceeded within Delaware’s community hospitals. Nemours’ surge sites will remain operational until community hospitals can reabsorb these non-COVID-19 adult patients.

Schall and Dr. Rattay said last week the State worked with Nemours, St. Francis Healthcare and ChristianaCare to identify options for the northern part of the state. After searching multiple possible sites with the Army Corps of Engineers, the Nemours campus was identified as the location that would provide the most efficiencies.  

Nemours has worked diligently over the last week to prep part of its building and this week training will take place with Nemours, ChristianaCare and the Delaware National Guard.

Schall and Dr. Rattay said the State, National Guard and Army Corps of Engineers continue to work with Beebe Healthcare, Nanticoke Health Services and Bayhealth for options to place non-COVID-19 patients from the southern hospitals if surge occurs. Site assessments continue today, with potential options being the old Milford Memorial Hospital and a National Guard field option adjacent to one of the current hospitals. 

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Contact: Jeff Sands, Delaware Emergency Management Agency, 302-659-2211.

Delaware Emergency Management Agency Earns Accreditation

(Smyrna, Delaware) – On December 13, 2019, the Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA) officially earned accreditation by the Emergency Management Accreditation Program (EMAP). Only nine programs nationwide completed the rigorous assessment process in 2019 to achieve either initial accreditation or reaccreditation. This is the initial accreditation for DEMA and the State’s emergency management program.

“Congratulations to those programs that have maintained their accredited status as well as those who have joined the elite leaders in emergency management having earned accreditation through the Emergency Management Accreditation Program. Through their commitment and leadership, they have proven to their communities and stakeholders that their programs are sustainable and that they continue to focus on their communities’ best interests,” stated Nick Crossley, Director of the Hamilton County Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency and the EMAP Commission Chair.

Providing emergency management programs the opportunity to be evaluated and recognized for compliance with standards certified by the American National Standard Institute (ANSI) and recognized by the industry complies with EMAP’s mission to build safer communities through credible standards of excellence. These programs demonstrate accountability and focus attention on areas and issues where resources are needed to heighten their preparedness efforts to address any technical or natural disaster that may affect their communities.

To achieve accreditation, applicants must demonstrate through self-assessment, documentation and peer assessment verification that its program meets the Emergency Management Standard set forth by EMAP. The emergency management program uses the accreditation to prove the capabilities of their disaster preparedness and response systems. Accreditation is valid for five years and the program must maintain compliance with the Emergency Management Standard and is reassessed to maintain accredited status.

Through standardization EMAP revolutionizes emergency management programs that coordinate preparedness and response activities for disasters. In addition to obtaining the ability to measure those capabilities, EMAP recognizes the ability of emergency management programs to bring together personnel, resources and communications from a variety of agencies and organizations in preparation for and in response to an emergency. The Emergency Management Standard is flexible in design so that programs of differing sizes, populations, risks and resources can use it as a blueprint for improvement and can attain compliance with those standards in an accreditation process. The accreditation process evaluates emergency management programs on compliance with requirements in sixteen areas, including: planning; resource management; training; exercises, evaluations, and corrective actions; communications and warning; and administration. EMAP is the only accreditation process for emergency management programs.

DEMA Director A.J. Schall said “The team at DEMA started on this journey in 2018. Over the last eighteen months we have worked diligently to review our processes, plans, and relationships. Over that time, we learned a tremendous amount and modernized procedures.  This was a division-wide project and everyone on the team had an important part. I couldn’t be more proud for their dedication to the State.”

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DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Blotter: Oct. 21-27

Reminder for the week: Don’t forget to winterize your boats

DOVER – To achieve public compliance with laws and regulations through education and enforcement actions that help conserve Delaware’s fish and wildlife resources and ensure safe boating and public safety, DNREC’s Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers between Oct. 21-27 made 2,028 contacts with hunters, anglers, boaters, and the general public, issuing 13 citations. Officers responded to 49 complaints regarding possible violations of laws and regulations or requests to assist the public. An increased Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police presence continued at the C&D Canal Conservation Area and Michael N. Castle Trail.

Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Actions

  • On Oct. 27, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers discussed the role of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers and reviewed safe hunting practices, hunting laws, and what to expect when checked by an officer in the field with attendees at a Hunter Education Class at the Little Creek Hunter Education Training Center.

Citations issued by category, with the number of charges in parentheses, included:

Wildlife Conservation: Hunting over bait on a state wildlife area (6)*, possession of unlawfully taken game – duck (1)*, hunting with an unplugged shotgun capable of holding more than three shells (1), and unlicensed hunting (1)*.

Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: Possession of undersized conch (1) and no Fisherman Information Network (FIN) number (2).

Boating & Boating Safety: Operating a vessel with insufficient number of life jackets (1).

*Includes citation(s) issued at the C&D Canal Conservation Area

DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife recognizes and thanks the majority of anglers, hunters, and boaters who comply with and support Delaware’s fishing, hunting, and boating laws and regulations. The Public are encouraged to report fish, wildlife, and boating violations to the Delaware Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police by calling 302-739-4580 or through the DENRP Tip app on a smartphone, which can be downloaded free of charge by searching “DENRP Tip” via the Google Play Store or the iTunes App Store. Wildlife violations may also be reported anonymously to Operation Game Theft by calling 800-292-3030, going online to, or using the DENRP Tip app. Verizon customers can connect to Operation Game Theft directly by dialing #OGT.

Are you AWARE?
Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police remind boaters not to forget to winterize their boats. Helpful steps include:

  • Replace engine oil and fuel filters
  • Flush and drain water lines
  • Disconnect batteries
  • Stabilize fuel
  • Protect internal engine components
  • Replace gear oil
  • Remove valuables
  • Clean and wax
  • Cover

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Contact: Sgt. Brooke Mitchell, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police, 302-739-9913, or 302-382-7167.

Delaware celebrates Lights on Afterschool

Hundreds of children, families, business and community leaders will come together throughout the state and nation Thursday at Lights On Afterschool events to celebrate the achievements of afterschool students and draw attention to the need for more afterschool programs to serve children nationwide who are unsupervised and at risk each weekday afternoon. There are more than 8,000 Lights On Afterschool events across the nation emphasizing the importance of keeping the lights on and the doors open after school. Lights On Afterschool activities celebrate the many benefits of afterschool programs and encourage lawmakers, businesses, and others to support afterschool funding.


“I am grateful for the schools and community partners that work together throughout the school year to provide enriching activities in safe environments so our children can learn, grow and thrive after school,” Secretary of Education Susan Bunting said.


Organized by the Afterschool Alliance, Lights On Afterschool has been celebrated annually since 2000. This year, more than one million Americans will demonstrate their support for afterschool by taking part in the only nationwide celebration for afterschool programs.


A newly released national poll illustrates that the high level of support for afterschool shown by those joining Lights On Afterschool celebrations extends to the overall population. The poll found that nearly 9 out of 10 adults (89 percent) believe afterschool and summer programs are important to their communities. The poll also found strong backing of public funding for afterschool and summer learning programs, with 2 out of 3 adults surveyed saying they want their federal, state and local leaders to provide funding for afterschool and summer programs. Demand for afterschool programs continues to far outpace the supply of existing programs. More work needs to be done to meet the great need for afterschool programs that keep kids safe, inspire them to learn and help working families.


Many afterschool programs around the nation are supported by funding from the Federal 21st Century Community Learning Centers initiative. Since its creation, it has provided funding to allow millions of children to attend afterschool.


Lights On Afterschool is organized by the Afterschool Alliance, a nonprofit public awareness and advocacy organization working to ensure that all children have access to quality afterschool programs.


Media contact: Alison May,, 302-735-4006