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Sunday, March 22, 2020
Governor Carney Issues Stay-at-Home Order for Delawareans, Non-essential Businesses to Close at 8 a.m. Tuesday (03/24/2020)


Delaware's Governor John Carney Issues Stay-at-Home Order

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Governor Carney Issues Stay-at-Home Order for Delawareans, Non-essential Businesses to Close at 8 a.m. Tuesday – 03/24/2020

Governor John Carney today modified his State of Emergency declaration, ordering Delawareans to stay at home whenever possible and closing all non-essential businesses to fight the spread of COVID-19.

The orders go into effect at 8 a.m. Tuesday, March 24.  They will remain in effect until May 15 or until the public health threat is eliminated.

Click here for a full list of essential and non-essential businesses, as defined by the modified order.

Click here for answers to frequently asked questions.

"This was not an easy decision, but it's the right decision to protect the safety of Delawareans and Delaware families," Gov. Carney said.  "If you have any questions about whether you should be staying home or going out, stay home.  Go to work, and go straight back home.  If you don't need food or other essential items, stay home.

"We're acting with urgency to prevent a spike in coronavirus cases that could overwhelm our hospital system," Gov. Carney said.  "Delawareans cannot go out in public unnecessarily.  Wash your hands and disinfect surfaces frequently.  Essential businesses that remain open must provide easy access to hand washing stations or sanitizer, enforce social distancing, and provide flexible sick leave policies for their employees. That will reduce our risk and help keep all Delawareans healthy."

Delaware employers with questions about how they may be impacted can email [email protected], or call 302-577-8477 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Emails are encouraged due to potentially high call volume.

Early next week, new information on school closures will be released.

Leaving your home is allowed under Governor Carney's order for essential activities. Delawareans may leave their homes to get groceries, pick up a prescription, see a doctor, and engage in other activities essential to their health, and the health and well-being of their family members, including pets.  Delawareans may also engage in outdoor activity, but must adhere to social distancing guidelines.  Additional details are available in the text of Governor Carney's order.

The modified order requires essential Delaware businesses to implement flexible and non-punitive sick leave policies for their employees, in accordance with guidance issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH).

Employers must follow social distancing policies, protect high-risk workers, provide hand-washing or sanitizer stations, and follow all health guidelines for internal cleaning.  Visitors are not allowed at essential Delaware businesses under Sunday's order, unless they are providing an essential service.

Government agencies are urged to take steps needed to provide shelter for Delawareans experiencing homelessness, in accordance with CDC guidance.  Homeless individuals are otherwise not subject to the shelter in place order.

Delawareans whose homes are unsafe -- such as victims of domestic violence -- are urged to and seek a safe, alternative residence.

Those at high risk of infection and illness from COVID-19 and Delawareans who are sick are urged to stay in their home except as necessary to seek medical care.

State of Delaware offices will remain open but state employees should telecommute wherever possible, in accordance with guidelines from the Delaware Department of Human Resources.

Delawareans with general questions about COVID-19 or their exposure risk can call the Division of Public Health's Coronavirus Call Center at 1-866-408-1899, or 711 for individuals who are hearing-impaired, from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Questions can also be submitted by email at [email protected]. DPH will continue to update the public as more information becomes available. 

For the latest on Delaware's response, go to