***UPDATES*** Coronavirus Information

Date Posted: Friday, February 28th, 2020
 
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UTILITY PROVIDER NOTICES:

NEWS:

State Health Officials Issue 
Coronavirus Situational Update

FEBRUARY 28, 2020 — The Division of Public Health (DPH) today issued the following situational awareness briefing as a result of the recent increase in global cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Situational Awareness:
There are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Delaware.
  • There are currently no people in Delaware under investigation. Three people previously investigated tested negative.
  • The immediate health risk to Delawareans from coronavirus disease is low.
  • Thirteen (13) residents who have recently returned from mainland China, but are showing no symptoms of coronavirus infection, are currently under DPH Supervised Monitoring.
  • All hospitals report high numbers of patients with influenza-like illnesses.  Hospitals have implemented “decompression strategies,” adjusting visitor guidelines and using additional hospital space for overflow.
  • Hospitals are conserving their Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and building protocols for appropriate use.
  • DPH has established a coronavirus website with general information for Delawareans, fliers in multiple languages, and updated information on travelers being monitored.
The Delaware Division of Public Health has been actively monitoring and responding to the evolving global outbreak related to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) since it began in China.  Should the disease appear in Delaware, the DPH has been preparing to contain its spread and implement mitigation strategies recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

In the coming days and weeks, Delaware Public Health officials will be having additional conversations with health care providers, schools, businesses and other state partners and stakeholders about what guidance to consider in the event of a local outbreak.

Delaware is already dealing with a serious flu season with over 5,000 cases and 11 deaths statewide.  Health officials say citizens can slow the spread of respiratory illnesses (including flu and/or coronavirus) by taking some simple precautions:
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Stay home when sick, and avoid uninfected people
  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water, and/or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces often
  • For flu-prevention – get the flu vaccine.

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UPDATES:

The President’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America:

15 Days to Slow the Spread

 

  • Listen to and follow the directions of your state and local authorities.

 

  • If you feel sick, stay home.  Do not go to work.  Contact your medical provider.

 

  • If your children are sick, keep them at home.  Do not send them to school.  Contact your medical provider.

 

  • If someone in your household has tested positive for the coronavirus, keep the entire household at home.  Do not go to work.  Do not go to school.  Contact your medical provider.

 

  • If you are an older person, stay home and away from other people.

 

  • If you are a person with a serious underlying health condition that can put you at increased risk (for example, a condition that impairs your lung or heart function or weakens your immune system), stay home and away from other people.

 

  • Even if you are young, or otherwise healthy, you are at risk and your activities can increase the risk for others. It is critical that you do your part to stop the spread of the coronavirus:
    1. Work or engage in schooling from home whenever possible.
    2. If you work in a critical infrastructure industry, as defined by the Department of Homeland Security, such as healthcare services and pharmaceutical and food supply, you have a special responsibility to maintain your normal work schedule.  You and your employers should follow CDC guidance to protect your health at work.
    3. Avoid social gatherings in groups of more than 10 people.
    4. Avoid eating or drinking in bars, restaurants, and food courts – use drive-thru, pickup, or delivery options.
    5. Avoid discretionary travel, shopping trips, and social visits.
    6. Do not visit nursing homes or retirement or long-term care facilities unless to provide critical assistance.

 

  • Practice good hygiene:
    1. Wash your hands, especially after touching any frequently used item or surface.
    2. Avoid touching your face.
    3. Sneeze or cough into a tissue, or the inside of your elbow.
    4. Disinfect frequently used items and surfaces as much as possible.

 

* School operations can accelerate the spread of the coronavirus.  Governors of states with evidence of community transmission should close schools in affected and surrounding areas.  Governors should close schools in communities that are near areas of community transmission, even if those areas are in neighboring states.  In addition, state and local officials should close schools where coronavirus has been identified in the population associated with the school.  States and localities that close schools need to address childcare needs of critical responders, as well as the nutritional needs of children.

 

** Older people are particularly at risk from the coronavirus.  All states should follow Federal guidance and halt social visits to nursing homes and retirement and long-term care facilities.

 

*** In states with evidence of community transmission, bars, restaurants, food courts, gyms, and other indoor and outdoor venues where groups of people congregate should be closed.

THE BEST SOURCE FOR UP-TO-DATE INFORMATION AND GUIDANCE IS WWW.CORONAVIRUS.GOV

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

March 17, 2020

 

MEDIA CONTACT:

Jonathan Starkey

Cell: (302) 256-8364

Jonathan.Starkey@delaware.gov

 

Delaware Governor John Carney

Governor Carney Requests Federal Assistance for Small Businesses

Governor to U.S. Small Business Administration: Make low-interest loans available to DE small businesses, nonprofits affected by COVID-19

 

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney on Monday submitted an application formally requesting the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to provide Delaware an Economy Injury Declaration, which makes loans available to small businesses and nonprofit organizations in New Castle, Kent and Sussex counties.

 

In his letter to the SBA, Governor Carney said the impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) on small businesses would likely be significant.

 

We know that the public health restrictions we put in place to reduce the spread of coronavirus will hit Delaware’s small business community especially hard,” said Governor Carney. “We will continue to work with the Small Business Administration, and with our congressional delegation and state agencies, to provide relief to those small businesses impacted during this time.”

 

Governor Carney has directed the Delaware Division of Small Business and Delaware Department of State to look for additional opportunities to support the state’s 25,000 small businesses.

 

Once the state’s application to the SBA is approved, the low-interest loans of up to $2 million per business will be available for many small businesses and nonprofits that have suffered substantial economic injury as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

 

They are designed to help with the temporary loss of revenue these businesses and nonprofits are experiencing. The loans may be used for working capital expenses such as payroll, fixed debts and accounts payable, as well as other bills the business or nonprofit is currently unable to pay because of the impact of COVID-19.

 

Click here for more information on SBA Economy Injury Disaster Loans.

 

On Thursday, March 12, Governor Carney issued a State of Emergency declaration to mobilize state resources to prepare for the spread of coronavirus across Delaware.

 

Delawareans with 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 people who are hearing impaired from 8:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, or email DPHCall@delaware.gov. For the latest on Delaware’s response, go to de.gov/coronavirus.

 

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The press release below was originally sent out by Gov. John Carney’s office.

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

March 18, 2020

 

MEDIA CONTACT:

Jonathan Starkey

Cell: (302) 256-8364

Jonathan.Starkey@delaware.gov

 

 

Delaware Governor John Carney

Governor Carney Announces HELP Program to Support Delaware Small Businesses

Hospitality businesses will be eligible for immediate financial assistance, unemployment benefits for workers expanded 

 

 

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney on Wednesday announced the Hospitality Emergency Loan Program (HELP) to provide financial relief for restaurants, bars and other hospitality industry businesses that employ thousands of Delawareans.

 

“Restaurants, bars, hotels, and other hospitality-related businesses, and their workers, are among those most seriously impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Delaware,” said  Governor John Carney. “We’ve limited restaurants to takeout and delivery services and asked all Delawareans to avoid being out in public unnecessarily. Many people from other states have postponed non-essential travel, meaning they are not coming to Delaware for vacations or business. We feel it is crucial that the state step in to assist these businesses and their employees.”

 

The no-interest loans are capped at $10,000 per business per month. The money can cover rent, utilities and other unavoidable bills but cannot be used for personnel costs. The loans have a 10-year term with payments deferred for nine months.

 

The Division of Small Business will administer the program using existing state funds and is aiming to have an application available later this week. Eligible businesses must have been in operation for at least a year, have annual revenue below $1.5 million and be in a certain hospitality-connected industries. Email business@delaware.gov to learn if you qualify or call 302-739-4271 with additional questions.

 

Assistance is also available for Delaware workers impacted by the coronavirus outbreak. Governor Carney approved the following changes to Delaware’s unemployment benefits program for the hospitality industry:

1.  The Department of Labor (DOL) will begin processing unemployment claims as they are received with the goal of benefits becoming available within a week.

2.  DOL will allow part time income while collecting benefits as long as employees can demonstrate their decreased hours and earnings.

3.  DOL will not classify tipped employees as minimum wage earners as long as their tips are reported as wages.

 

Businesses applying for assistance through Delaware’s HELP program will need to prove they meet the eligibility standards. This includes providing documentation to show the business has been current for at least 80 percent of payments over the past 12 months, and not past due on its most recent payment on any bill for which it is applying for relief. This can be done through proof of payments or a letter from the entity to which the money was due.

 

The program announcement comes as the state also awaits official confirmation from the U.S. Small Business Administration that it has received the Economic Injury Declaration which Governor Carney formally requested on Monday.

 

More information will be available later in the week on sending in application information for HELP. In the meantime, businesses can reach out to the Division of Small Business with questions by emailing business@delaware.gov or visiting www.delbiz.com.

 

Delawareans with 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 people who are hearing impaired from 8:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, or e-mail DPHCall@delaware.gov. For the latest on Delaware’s response, go to de.gov/coronavirus.