Starting Friday, March 13 at 8 a.m.

Governor John Carney issued a state of emergency declaration to prepare for the spread of coronavirus March 12. The state of emergency directs the Delaware Emergency Management Agency and the Delaware Department of Health & Social Services’ Division of Public Health to mobilize state agency resources to assist with Delaware’s response to the virus.

It starts at 8 a.m. Friday, March 13.

The declaration WILL:

Require the Delaware National Guard to take precautionary and responsive actions to assist with Delaware’s response to the coronavirus Advise event organizers in Delaware to cancel non-essential public gatherings of 100 people or more, to prevent community spread of coronavirus Allow the state to conduct public meetings electronically to prevent unnecessary public gatherings Prohibit price gouging, or an excessive price increase of goods or services, during the coronavirus outbreak

The declaration WILL NOT:

Require schools or businesses to close their facilities Implement any driving restrictions in Delaware Close state office building

“We are taking this situation extremely seriously,” Carney said. “We have been expecting positive cases in Delaware, and for the last two months we have prepared our state’s response in close coordination with the experts at the Delaware Division of Public Health and the Delaware Emergency Management Agency. Today’s emergency declaration will make sure we have the authority and resources necessary to effectively prevent the spread of this virus.

“There are things every Delawarean can do to stay healthy. Wash your hands. Cover your cough. Stay home from work or school if you are sick. It’s especially important for at-risk populations, specifically elderly Delawareans, to avoid large gatherings. And we’re advising Delaware organizations to cancel large, non-essential public events to prevent community spread of the coronavirus. We will continue to respond aggressively to this situation in close coordination with state and federal public health experts.”

On Wednesday, March 11, Carney and the Delaware Department of Human Resources issued guidance to state employees about coronavirus and potential impacts on the state workforce. Full-time and casual/seasonal state employees may be eligible for 14 or 30 days of Paid Emergency Leave if they are forced to miss work due to a coronavirus impact, or to care for a family member.

Costs related to diagnostic testing for coronavirus will be waived for Delaware families who are covered by the state’s health plan.

Click here to read the State of Emergency declaration.