Governor John Carney announced today interim measures allowing small businesses to resume limited operations effective 8:00 am on Friday, May 8.
The announcement is welcome news for clothing, sporting goods, department stores, and general merchandise retailers, which will be able to service customers with social distancing measures in place. Book, hobby and music stores will also be able to reopen with limitations starting Friday.
Golfers will also be able to hop aboard their golf carts, but they’ll have to ride solo. This will be a big benefit to golf courses which only allow golfers to use their courses with carts.
And hair salons, barbershops, and blow dry bars will be able to welcome customers on Friday, but service offerings will be limited to essential workers, and many precautionary guidelines must be followed to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The Governor also announced an expanded testing program that will include all residents of long-term care facilities, where the highest rates of infection have been documented.
Below are the interim steps the Governor announced effective at 8:00 am on Friday:
- Small business retailers will be allowed to do business using curbside pickup as long as social distancing can be maintained. These retailers include:
- Clothing stores
- Shoe stores
- Sporting goods, hobby, musical instruments
- Book, periodical, music stores
- Department stores
- Tobacco and Vape
- Other general merchandise
- Office supply, stationery, and gift stores
- Used merchandise stores
- Consumer goods rental
- Jewelry stores may do business by appointment only, and the Governor has instructed the Division of Small Business to consider additional changes like this for other similar retailers.
- Cosmetology: Hair care services only are permitted to be offered, and only to workers at essential businesses. Guidelines include:
- No more than two appointments at a time per location (and never more than the number of available staff, so just one for a sole proprietor). Need to leave 15 minutes between appointments for proper cleaning.
- Employees and customers must wear cloth face masks at all times, and customers must cancel appointments if they have any reason to believe they may be ill or may have come into contact with the virus.
- Staff must wear disposable gloves when providing services and must throw away gloves between customers and wash hands.
- Employer must require employees to report their temperature daily — above 99.5 means they are ineligible to work.
- Customer stations must be sanitized between use, along with any equipment used for the customer. In addition, any item a customer handles (like a magazine) must leave with the customer.
- Entrance door must remain locked to outside to prevent walk-ins.
- Golf carts allowed at courses for 1 rider at a time with proper cleaning between customers
- Drive-thru movies are permitted, but patrons must remain inside vehicles and social distancing must be maintained at all times.
Universal testing at long-term care facilities
Also on Tuesday, Governor Carney and the Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) announced a plan to test all residents and staff of Delaware long-term care facilities for COVID-19.
This will include all symptomatic and asymptomatic residents.
DPH will provide facilities with tests, testing supplies, training, and support for the universal testing program to protect the most vulnerable Delawareans.
DPH will provide guidance on the interpretation of results and recommendations to protect residents and staff .
“This testing strategy will enable us to help the facilities better identify outbreaks among both staff and residents and contain the spread of the disease through a variety of interventions,” said Dr. Karyl Rattay, director of the Delaware Division of Public Health. “It is an important component in our rapidly expanding testing strategy.”
Employees required to report to work as a result of these changes will now be permitted to utilize child care services, provided neither parent works from home and they do not have alternate care.
“I understand how hard this has been for Delawareans across our state. We’ve tried to find ways to ease the pain without compromising public health,” said Governor Carney.
“But even these limited steps allowing businesses to offer additional services will require strict compliance with safety standards, especially social distancing. We cannot afford to go backward and see new cases and hospitalizations spike. Getting used to a new normal won’t be easy, but this is the first step to being able to reopen our economy,” he said.