WILMINGTON — Delaware’s COVID-19 State of Emergency order has officially expired as of July 13.
The order was replaced by a Public Health Emergency order, signed by Gov. John Carney on Monday. This narrower order allows the State of Delaware and medical providers to continue COVID-19 vaccination and testing programs.
It also authorizes the Division of Public Health to direct COVID-19 vaccination, treatment and mitigation measures to contain the spread of COVID-19. The Delaware National Guard may also provide support under the direction of the director of the Delaware Emergency Management Agency and the secretary of the Department of Safety and Homeland Security.
Delaware providers that offer COVID-19 vaccinations must do so at no out-of-pocket cost to individuals, according to the Public Health Emergency order. All health care providers, facilities and entities that offer vaccinations shall make those vaccinations available to any person meeting the vaccination criteria without regard to that person’s ability to pay, type of health insurance or participation in any particular provider network.
“Delawareans pulled together over this past year and made real sacrifices to limit the spread of COVID-19, protect their neighbors, and save lives,” said Gov. Carney in a statement. “It wasn’t easy, and some sacrificed more than others. But I believe we’ll come out of this pandemic stronger for it. As we emerge from this crisis, let’s remember the 1,695 Delawareans we lost to COVID-19, and recommit to working together to build the future of our great state.”
Delawareans can submit questions for the town hall via email to firstname.lastname@example.org before the event, or comment during the live town hall.
Dr. Karyl Rattay, DPH director, and A.J. Schall, DEMA director, will also participate in the virtual town hall.
Delaware’s COVID-19 State of Emergency order was first signed on March 12, 2020, to help curb the spread of the virus. It lasted 16 months and one day.
Most restrictions were already removed from the emergency order in May, including a mask mandate. With the order expiring today, masks are no longer required in state buildings and any other sectors which were still requiring masks in Delaware. Venues also no longer have to submit a plan to DPH to host large events.
Jon Starkey, spokesperson for Gov. Carney, said via email those who are still unvaccinated should follow mask guidance set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“We encourage those who are unvaccinated or partly vaccinated to mask and continue taking precautions — and to get vaccinated,” Mr. Starkey said.
Additionally the state is still instructing long-term care facilities — including nursing homes and assisted-living facilities — to operate under Delaware’s COVID-19 Updated Reopening Plan. The type of visitation allowed depends on each facility’s positive cases of COVID-19 among residents, the county’s overall COVID-19 rate and the percentage of residents who are vaccinated.
Delaware is up to 70.9% of its adult population who have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to the CDC. The CDC data includes Delawareans vaccinated out of state and vaccinations done at sites such as Dover Air Force Base and Veterans Affairs who do not report their numbers to the DPH.
There have been 1,028,283 doses of vaccine administered in Delaware as of 11:59 p.m. Sunday, according to the DPH’s vaccine tracker. A list of vaccination sites is available online.
The DPH reported 21 new positive cases of the virus in Monday’s update, which reflects data as of 6 p.m. Sunday. Delaware has recorded 110,093 total positive cases.
Thirty-four individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, including nine cases which are considered critical. No new COVID-19-related deaths were announced as that number remained at 1,695.
Watch Gov. Carney's town hall below at 7 p.m.: