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Governor Orders Delaware Restaurants And Bars To Offer Take-Out, Delivery Only, Closes Casinos

Governor John Carney on Monday modified his March 12 emergency declaration to limit Delaware restaurants, taverns and bars to take-out and delivery service only to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Governor Carney’s updated emergency declaration — which takes effect at 8:00 p.m. tonight, March 16 — also bans public gatherings of 50 or more people, consistent with updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and closes gaming activity at Delaware casinos.

Effective March 16, 2020 at 8:00 p.m. E.S.T., all restaurants, bars and taverns shall only provide food and beverage service through take-out, drive-through and off-premises delivery. No indoor or outdoor seating for food or beverage service, including the use of outdoor patios, is permitted. This restriction shall not apply to food service provided within hospitals to hospital staff/employees, patients and patient visitors.

Monday’s modification to Governor Carney’s emergency declaration also gives Delaware’s Secretary of Labor authorization to develop emergency rules to protect Delaware workers and ensure that unemployment benefits are available for Delawareans whose jobs are affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

“These restrictions will hit Delaware’s restaurants and bars especially hard,” said Governor Carney. “Delawareans should continue to support these businesses, and their workers, by ordering take-out or delivery. Restaurants also remain a critical source of food for vulnerable populations. But this is a very serious situation, with a significant amount of uncertainty. If you gather with 50 people or more, you are only increasing the risk that more Delawareans will come in contact with this virus. Let’s not make a challenging situation worse.”

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 For the latest on Delaware’s response, go to

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First State Update's Delaware editorial team covers New Castle County, Kent County and Sussex County breaking news, political news, and general news stories. We bring the reader the latest news from the Wilmington, Newark, Dover, Rehoboth Beach and all point in between. If you have news to share, email us at

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