Alerts and Updates

Delaware Governor Issues Stay-at-Home Advisory and Universal Indoor Mask Order

December 4, 2020

The new advisory does not apply to citizens in their workplaces or those traveling to and from their places of employment.

In the midst of a dangerous winter surge of COVID-19 cases and resulting hospitalizations in Delaware, Governor John Carney and the Delaware Division of Public Health announced a new stay-at-home advisory strongly recommending that all Delawareans avoid gathering indoors with anyone outside their household from December 14 through January 11. The new advisory does not apply to citizens in their workplaces or those traveling to and from their places of employment. In addition to this new stay-at-home advisory, Delaware is instituting a universal mask mandate statewide, requiring Delawareans to wear a cloth face covering anytime they are indoors with anyone outside their immediate household. While Delaware has had a public mask mandate since April 28, 2020, requiring Delawareans and visitors to wear a cloth face covering in public settings where social distancing is not possible, this new order makes masks mandatory indoors no matter whether social distancing might be observed.

The governor is also recommending that state schools pause in-person learning beginning December 14, transition to virtual learning through January 8, and return to hybrid learning on January 11. The recommendation does not apply to child care centers. Schools that do not face significant operational challenges may remain in hybrid learning, with a mix of remote and in-person instruction.

Finally, under the new guidelines, winter sports competitions will be prohibited from December 14 to January 11, but practices may continue under strict COVID-19 masking and social distancing guidelines.

It is important to note that (a) the new stay-at-home advisory is just that―an advisory―and not a prohibition on indoor gatherings, and (b) that previous orders related to limitations on religious, business and commercial operations remain valid and binding.

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