Governor Carney’s Plan to Reopen Delaware’s Economy in Response to COVID-19

Governor Carney’s Plan to Reopen Delaware’s Economy in Response to COVID-19

Governor Carney has announced his plans for reopening Delaware’s economy, and it is premised on several factors, as follows:

  • First, there needs to be a 14-day decline in the percent of positive cases of COVID-19;
  • Second, there needs to be an ability to treat COVID-19 patients in hospitals without crisis care; and
  • Third, there needs to be an extensive testing program in place for health care workers.

In order to meet these criteria, the Governor has determined that the following need to be in place:

  • Widespread testing for COVID-19
  • Incremental and enhanced contact tracing, especially in vulnerable populations
  • Adequate supply of personal protective equipment
  • The ability to protect the health and safety of the workforce
  • Public guidance on social distancing and face coverings
  • Constant monitoring of the situation to mitigate new outbreaks

Once these criteria have been met and the established guidelines are in place, the Governor proposes to reopen the economy in three (3) phases, as follows:

Phase I

  • Vulnerable individuals shelter in place
  • Maintain social distancing in public
  • Limit gatherings to 10 individuals
  • Minimize non-essential travel – personal and business
  • Encourage telework
  • Return to work in phases
  • Consider special accommodations for vulnerable populations of the workforce
  • Schools and youth activities remain closed
  • No visits to senior living facilities and hospitals
  • Large venues, restaurants would have strict guidelines
  • Elective surgeries to resume
  • Gyms to follow strict physical distancing and sanitation protocols
  • Bars remain closed

Phase II

  • Vulnerable individuals shelter in place
  • Maintain social distancing in public
  • Limit gatherings to 50 individuals
  • Non-essential travel can resume
  • Encourage teleworking
  • Close common areas at work places
  • Consider special accommodations for vulnerable populations of the workforce
  • Schools and youth activities reopen
  • No visits to senior living facilities and hospitals
  • Large venues, restaurants operate under moderate physical distancing protocols
  • Elective surgeries to resume
  • Gyms to follow strict physical distancing and sanitation protocols
  • Bars can reopen with reduced standing room occupancy

Phase III

  • Vulnerable individuals no longer have to shelter in place but should practice social distancing
  • Limits restrictions at businesses
  • Visits to senior living facilities and hospitals can resume
  • Large venues, restaurants operate under limited physical distancing protocols
  • Gyms to follow sanitation protocols
  • Bars can open with additional standing room occupancy

Currently, pursuant to the Governor’s Fourth Modification of the Declaration of a State of Emergency, effective March 24, 2020, any businesses operating in the State of Delaware and determined to be “non-essential” were required to close “until after May 15, 2020, or the public health threat of COVID-19 has been eliminated.” In addition, pursuant to the Governor’s Fifth Modification of the Declaration of a State of Emergency, also effective March 24, 2020, residents of Delaware are under a shelter-in-place directive whereby residents may leave their home only for certain limited essential activities.

While he is considering when to start “reopening the economy”, the Governor is seeking feedback from area small businesses and has scheduled a series of Zoom meetings, 11 in all, for different parts of the state. All of the meetings will follow the same format with a brief presentation by Damien DiStefano, Director, Delaware Division of Small Business, and Kurt Forman, President and CEO, Delaware Prosperity Partnership, followed by an open forum where experiences, ideas and opportunities can be shared by business owners and questions answered. The first meeting was held on April 27th. The meetings run through May 7, 2020. For more information, go to de.gov/economy.

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