Governor Carney Extends State of Emergency, Strict Mask Requirements

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney on Thursday signed the 27th modification to his State of Emergency, combining all active COVID-19 restrictions into a single order. Governor Carney’s modification also formalizes the latest restrictions around bar service in Delaware beach communities and requires that businesses more strictly enforce face covering requirements among their employees.

Governor Carney’s order took effect at 8:00 a.m. Today, Friday, September 4. 

Read the full provisions of Governor Carney’s State of Emergency order. 

Governor Carney’s order requires businesses to more strictly enforce face covering requirements among their employees. They must have written documentation, such as a doctor’s note, supporting any accommodation that allows an employee to not wear a face covering. The order also includes additional guidance around the wearing of face coverings in restaurants and gyms.

In restaurants, Delawareans and visitors are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings when waitstaff visits a table, and whenever they are not eating or drinking. Customers must wear coverings if they leave their table and while entering or exiting the establishment.

In gyms and other exercise facilities, Delawareans must wear face coverings when they are not engaged in vigorous physical activity. Vigorous physical activity – or high-intensity exercise – is defined as a physical activity done with a large amount of effort, resulting in a substantially higher heart rate and rapid breathing. Delawareans must wear face coverings while weight-lifting, which is not considered vigorous physical activity, and everyone is strongly encouraged to wear face coverings at all times in gyms.

According to the updated order, bars in Delaware beach communities may reopen on Friday for food service with significant safety precautions. Reservations are required for bar service, and food must be ordered. Patrons must maintain six (6) feet social distance from non-household members.

Governor Carney’s State of Emergency declaration – including each of its modifications – carries the full force and effect of law. Delawareans and visitors also must follow local restrictions in place to limit community spread of COVID-19. 

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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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