Delaware governor issues stern orders to out-of-state visitors
By Richard Gaw
By Richard L. Gaw
Delaware Gov.John Carney recently signed into law his seventh modification to his State of Emergency declaration, which orders all out-of-state travelers into Delaware to immediately self-quarantine for 14 days to fight the spread of COVID-19.The order went into effect on March 30.
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.
Individuals under self-quarantine can leave their homes to seek medical care.
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.
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.
While the order does not apply to travelers who are merely passing through the state and those who need to travel to Delaware to care for family members, it strictly encourages those who live out-of-state and commutes to Delaware for essential work to work from home. In accordance with the order, law enforcement has been given the right to conduct traffic stops –limited in scope to public health and quarantine questions –on vehicles registered in other states.Gov. Carney’s official order specifically states that:
1. Any individual who enters Delaware from another state, and who is not merely passing through, must immediately self-quarantine for fourteen (14) days from the time of entry into Delaware or for the duration of the individual’s presence in Delaware, whichever period is shorter. This self-quarantine requirement shall not apply to public health, public safety, or healthcare workers, or any other individual providing an assistance to an essential business or providing an emergency service related to COVID-19. This self-quarantine requirement shall not apply to individuals commuting into Delaware to work for an essential business or to perform minimum business operations as permitted by the state’s state of emergency declaration.
2. Any person who has come to Delaware within the last fourteen (14) days must immediately self-quarantine for the remainder of the fourteen (14) day period since arrival in Delaware. The self-quarantine shall not apply to affected individuals who are returning to their state of residence.
3. 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. These self-quarantine requirements shall also incorporate any subsequent guidance issued by the CDC and/or the Division of Public Health (DPH) after the signing of the order.
4. Individuals self-quarantining under the order are permitted to leave the quarantine location for a medical emergency or to seek medical care.
5. Individuals self-quarantining under the order shall be responsible for all costs associated with their self-quarantine, including transportation, lodging, food, medical care and any other expenses to sustain the person during the period of self-quarantine.
6. This self-quarantine shall not apply to those traveling to care for a family member, friend, or pet in Delaware, or to the transport of family members, friends, pets, or livestock as allowed by this and previous orders.
7. Individuals traveling to Delaware to work for an essential business but who could otherwise work from home are strongly encouraged to work from home.
8. 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.
As included in a commonly-asked questions section on Delaware.gov, those residents in Chester County who prefer to do their shopping in Delaware are being asked to do their shopping in their home state.
Carney’s decision comes at a time when the coronavirus outbreak in Delaware has risen dramatically in recent weeks. On April 5, the Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) announced that the state saw 80 additional positive cases of COVID-19, which brings the statewide number of cases to 673.In total, 14 Delawareans have passed away due to complications from COVID-19. There have been a total of eight deaths related to long-term care facilities, including seven in New Castle County and one in Sussex County.
“Now’s not the time to visit Delaware,” Gov. Carney said. “We’re facing a serious situation here that is getting worse. 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.”
To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, email firstname.lastname@example.org.