Delaware retailers will be able to welcome a limited number of customers inside their stores starting tomorrow.
Governor John Carney said today that all retail establishments in Delaware may operate by appointment only beginning at 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday.
Retailers covered by today’s announcement – including clothing and shoe stores, used merchandise retailers and florists – may accept two appointments per half hour while adhering to strict social distancing and cleaning guidance from the Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Delaware food and drink establishments – restaurants, bars, taprooms and craft breweries – slated to open next month, may now also apply to their local municipal or county jurisdiction to expand their outdoor seating capacity to serve customers.
That would help expand seating for many of the businesses, when they are allowed to open their indoor spaces at 30 percent of stated fire capacity on June 1.
Elective surgeries can resume
Dr. Karyl Rattay, director of DPH, said today that because the front line healthcare workers are no longer struggling with a significant shortage of PPE, and because COVID hospitalization rates continue to trend down, her department is giving the green light to hospitals and healthcare providers to begin to resume elective and non urgent medical procedures.
This move also includes the dental industry.
She said that normally in a non-pandemic time, DPH would be promoting preventive care, well care, annual annual checkups and cancer screenings. “A lot of that has been put on hold, including management of chronic diseases where people might go in on a monthly basis for management of their diabetes or their hypertension,” said Rattay.
Rattay was particularly concerned about vaccinations, which she noted have dropped off during the pandemic.
She also elaborated that physicians should resume procedures in both Tier 1 and Tier 2 levels, as defined by the Federal agency CMS.
COVID cases top 8,000
With the addition of 168 new cases of novel coronavirus, the Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) announced that there have been a 8,037 total cases since March 11.
DPH reported that there are also seven new deaths, and the ages of those individuals ranged in age from 38 to 94. Five of those were New Castle County residents, one was a Kent County resident, and one was a Sussex County resident.Six of the individuals had underlying health conditions. Five of the individuals were residents of long-term care facilities.
In total, 304 Delawareans have passed away due to complications from COVID-19.
Governor Carney today said that despite the new cases, the the state continues to see a steady decrease of COVID-positive patients, which is the main indicator he is using to measure the timing of reopening aspects of the economy.
Wearing your face mask at the beach
There was a brief moment of confusion at today’s press conference about the times that face masks are required and not required at the beach.
Governor Carney at first said face masks were not required on Delaware’s boardwalk or its beaches. But twice during the press conference he corrected his statement to clarify that masks are required on the boardwalk and optional on the beach.