Governor Carney Partners with Health Providers and Sussex Employers on Community Testing Sites, Outreach, Education

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney on Wednesday announced a partnership with the Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH), the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS), the Delaware Emergency Management Agency, the Delaware Department of Agriculture, Westside Family Healthcare, local hospital systems, poultry industry employers, Federally Qualified Health Centers, and trusted community partners to stand up community testing sites in Sussex County, and increase outreach and distribution of educational materials about COVID-19 in southern Delaware.

“We’ve seen a significant surge in COVID-19 cases in communities across Sussex County,” said Governor John Carney. “This new testing program is designed to save lives. Over the next week, we will be partnering with local hospitals, the Delaware Division of Public Health, the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services, the Delaware Emergency Management Agency, and the Delaware Department of Agriculture, and others to offer free, rapid coronavirus testing at community testing sites in Sussex County. As the largest employers in Sussex County, we are partnering with the poultry industry to ensure that workers and their families get all of the information they need to be safe and healthy.”

The community testing plan is a three-pronged effort. It includes testing through the use of rapid test kits and ensuring access to care; guidance on isolation and assistance when it is not possible to isolate safely; and education and outreach through the assistance of trusted community partners. Individuals will receive “care kits” with essential materials including hand sanitizer, bandanas, thermometers, and educational materials. Educational materials are being translated into Spanish and Haitian Creole to reach those who do not read English as their first language. These tests are not mandatory.

“We are grateful for the partnership of everyone involved in bringing this massive effort together,” said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. “In addition to testing sites at poultry plants, there will also be community testing sites, which we expect will reach workers in other industries and their families. We believe this community-based testing strategy will be critical in identifying the extent of the spread of COVID-19 and of mitigating it, by providing guidance and support for those with positive test results and educational materials for everyone tested.”

“The efforts of all these partners to stop the spread of COVID-19 in our rural communities here in Sussex County is a testament to working towards a common goal to re-open our state. From the farmers to the workers in the plants to employees in agribusinesses, our workforce is the backbone that makes agriculture so successful in Delaware,” said Secretary of Agriculture Michael T. Scuse. “We want to ensure that every employee gets the care they need, and to make sure if a staff member does have COVID-19 that we can stop it from spreading to others. We appreciate the efforts that the poultry companies are taking to protect their employees, including implementing physical barriers and social distancing protocols, daily health screenings, and now on-site testing.”

Partners in the community testing efforts include

  • Bayhealth
  • Beebe Healthcare
  • ChristianaCare 
  • Nanticoke Health Services
  • Westside Family Healthcare
  • Allen Harim
  • Mountaire Farms
  • Perdue Farms
  • Local Community Partners and Organizations
  • Municipal and County Government
  • Delaware Technical Community College Georgetown
  • Community Health Centers and Providers 

Governor Carney, DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay, and DEMA Director A.J. Schall will discuss the community testing and outreach partnership during their 1:45 p.m. press briefing on Friday.

Delawareans with questions about COVID-19, related to medical or social service needs, should call 2-1-1; or 7-1-1 for individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday; and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the weekends. Questions may also be submitted by email at

DPH will continue to update the public as more information becomes available. For the latest on Delaware’s response, visit:      


Offseason Projects for Rehoboth Beach & Dewey Beach Corridor to Begin

DelDOT announces that several projects in the Rehoboth Beach and Dewey Beach Corridor will be resuming or beginning construction as peak travel season concludes. The majority of the work will be taking place on SR 1 and includes:

SR 1 Bridges over Lewes-Rehoboth Canal

  • Beginning the evening of Sunday, September 22, 2019, the northbound bridge lanes will close and contraflow will be in place for traffic on the southbound bridge with two southbound lanes and one northbound lane available.
  • After the northbound bridge is completed, the traffic pattern will shift and the southbound bridge will be closed and contraflow pattern will be in place for traffic on northbound bridge with two northbound lanes and one southbound lane available.
  • All lanes of traffic will be open during daytime hours by May 2020.
  • More information on this project is available here.

SR 1 Forgotten Mile/Dewey Beach Paving and Sidewalk Improvements

  • This project, which began in spring 2019, will resume on Monday, September 23, 2019 and continue until April 2020 and require intermittent lane and sidewalk closures.
  • Work area begins at Lewes-Rehoboth Canal and ends at Tower Road.

SR 1 Cross Pipe Replacement Project South of Dewey Beach

  • Cross pipe replacement projects under SR 1 at Bedford Street and Hazlett Street will require closure of SR 1 just south of Dewey Beach.
  • One direction of SR 1 will close to allow existing pipe to be dug up from under road.
  • Contraflow pattern will be in place with one travel lane available to traffic in each direction.
  • This project is expected to begin in November 2019, and last for several weeks. More information will be shared as project details are finalized.

Rehoboth Drawbridge Rehabilitation

  • Nightly lane closures through September 19, 2019.
  • Operational testing of new drawbridge electrical system and grid deck repairs will take place in spring 2020 after end of lane restrictions on SR 1 Lewes-Rehoboth Canal Bridge project.

Signs and message boards will be posted throughout the area alerting motorists to the lane closures and shifts as a result of this work.

Governor Markell Issues Limited State of Emergency in Sussex County

Coastal flood warnings in effect along Atlantic Coast and Delaware Bay

Wilmington, DE – With moderate to major coastal flooding expected at high tides today and tomorrow, along with high wind warnings along the coast, Governor Jack Markell has issued a Limited State of Emergency for Sussex County, effective immediately.  State offices will remain open and no driving restrictions are being implemented, however localized road closures may occur as conditions warrant it.  See full text below.

Residents of flood-prone areas of Sussex County and throughout Delaware are at risk of significant flooding and residents of those areas should seriously consider taking precautionary measures, including evacuating voluntarily or planning for potential evacuation and use of travel routes around flooded streets and roads.  A list of flood-prone areas is included below.

“Though predicted rainfall totals have dropped and the expected path of Hurricane Joaquin remains well off-coast, high winds and coastal flooding will significantly impact Sussex County,” said Governor Markell. “State and local officials are taking the necessary steps to prepare for possible evacuations and road closures and the National Guard has been deployed to Kent and Sussex Counties to support those efforts, as needed. Residents in flood-prone areas of the state should prepare accordingly and continue to monitor communications from state and local agencies for updates.”


Flood-Prone Areas of Sussex County

Sussex County Delaware Bay Communities

Slaughter Beach

Prime Hook Beach

Broadkill Beach

Lewes Beach, east of the Rehoboth Lewes canal


Sussex County Ocean Coastal Communities

Areas within ¾ of a mile of the coast in the following communities:

Henlopen Acres

Rehoboth Beach

Dewey Beach

North Bethany

Bethany Beach

South Bethany

Fenwick Island


Sussex County Inland Bay Communities

Areas surrounding the Rehoboth Bay, Indian River and Little Assawoman Bay

Flood-prone areas south of Route 24 (John J. Williams Highway) including Angola, Long Neck and Oak Orchard

Flood-prone areas along Route 26 (Vines Creek Road and Atlantic Avenue)

Flood-prone areas along Route 54 (Lighthouse Road)


Sussex County Western Communities

Flood-prone areas in close proximity to the Nanticoke and Broad Creek Rivers

WHEREAS, as of Friday, October 2, 2015, a Nor’easter system has affected the State of Delaware and is projected to continue to impact the State as Hurricane Joaquim moves north and interacts with the system, and

WHEREAS, rain and high tides from that system have resulted in flooding conditions in Sussex County, Delaware; and

WHEREAS, weather conditions throughout Sussex County and continuing for the remainder of the week and into the weekend may continue to exacerbate said flooding; and

WHEREAS, the effects of this storm system threaten public safety and have the potential to cause major damage to the infrastructure of Sussex County; and

WHEREAS, based upon evidence presented to me by the Delaware Emergency Management Agency, I have found that the potential for the occurrence of an emergency is high in Sussex County; and

WHEREAS, flood-prone areas of Sussex County and throughout Delaware are at risk of significant flooding, and residents of those areas should seriously consider taking precautionary measures, including evacuating voluntarily or planning for potential evacuation and use of travel routes around flooded streets and roads; and

WHEREAS, it is necessary to pre-stage and potentially deploy resources and assets of the Delaware National Guard in anticipation of responding to any such threats to public safety;

NOW THEREFORE, I, JACK A. MARKELL, pursuant to Title 20, Chapter 31 of the Delaware Code, do hereby declare a Limited State of Emergency for Sussex County, Delaware.  This Limited State of Emergency is effective on October 2, 2015, as of 12:00 p.m.  The nature of the emergency is flooding and its potential effects caused by the storm beginning October 1, 2015, and continuing thereafter.  Along with such other actions authorized by Title 20, Chapter 31 of the Delaware Code, I specifically direct and authorize:

  1. All departments and agencies of the State of Delaware shall assist in response and recovery activities, as directed by and in coordination with the Delaware Emergency Management Agency, necessary in those areas of Sussex County affected by the storm.
  1. The Delaware National Guard shall take precautionary or responsive actions directed by the Director of the Delaware Emergency Management Agency, in consultation with the Secretary of Safety and Homeland Security, upon request by local authorities in impacted areas of Sussex County.
  1. The Delaware Emergency Management Agency shall activate the State Emergency Operations Plan and cooperate with federal authorities, including the Federal Emergency Management Agency in making application, if necessary for relief and assistance for those towns and communities adversely affected by the continuing storms, pursuant to the Delaware Emergency Operations Plan and any potentially applicable federal disaster or emergency relief laws, including but not limited to the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act.
  1. Unless otherwise directed, all normal operations of State government shall continue without interruption.
  1. I reserve the right to take, or direct state or local authorities to take, without issuance of further written order, any other necessary actions authorized by Title 20, Chapter 31 of the Delaware Code to respond to this emergency.

Approved this 2nd day of October, 2015, at 12:00 p.m.

Video: Hurricane Sandy – Sussex County, DE EOC Update #8

Chip Guy of the Sussex County Emergency Operations Center in Georgetown, Delaware, issues a video update as Hurricane Sandy comes ashore near the mouth of the Delaware Bay.