On Sunday, March 29, Governor John Carney signed the seventh modification to his State of Emergency declaration, ordering all out-of-state travelers into Delaware to immediately self-quarantine for 14 days to fight the spread of COVID-19. Under Sunday’s order, anyone who enters Delaware from another state must immediately self-quarantine for 14 days. The 14-day period is measured from the time of entry into Delaware or for the duration of the individual’s presence in Delaware, whichever is shorter.
Governor Carney’s order also applies to anyone who has entered Delaware in the last 14 days. The order does not apply to travelers who are merely passing through Delaware. Anyone who lives out-of-state and commutes to Delaware for essential work is strongly encouraged to work from home. Sunday’s order does not apply to those traveling to care for members of their family. Individuals under self-quarantine can leave their homes to seek medical care.
Governor Carney’s order took effect at 8:00 am on Monday, March 30. “Now’s not the time to visit Delaware. We’re facing a serious situation here that is getting worse,” said Governor Carney. “Delawareans need to stay at home, and anyone from another state visiting Delaware should immediately self-quarantine for two weeks. Everyone needs to take this threat seriously. Our goal is to limit a surge in COVID-19 cases that would overwhelm our hospital system. We’ll get through this – but everyone needs to pitch in.”
Self-quarantine requires that an individual stay in a quarantine location (home, hotel room or rented lodging); does not go to work, school or public areas; does not use public transportation; separates from other individuals in a residence as much as possible; and avoids sharing personal items. Everyone should continue to follow basic hygiene guidance from the Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
This self-quarantine requirement does not apply to public health, public safety, or health care workers, or any other individual assisting an essential business or providing an emergency service related to COVID-19. Sunday’s order has the force and effect of law. Any failure to comply with the provisions contained in a Declaration of a State of Emergency or any modification to a Declaration of the State of Emergency constitutes a criminal offense.
The Delaware Department of Justice (DOJ) has issued guidance to state and local law enforcement with additional details about enforcement of Governor Carney’s emergency declaration. In accordance with Sunday’s order, law enforcement may conduct traffic stops – limited in scope to public health and quarantine questions – on vehicles registered in other states.
Delawareans with general 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 individuals who are hearing-impaired, from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.=-