By Howard Monroe

WILMINGTON, Del. (CBS) — Businesses in Delaware are gearing up for a new wave of restrictions as COVID-19 cases continue to rise.

“We’ve been hunkering down and we’re still here,” said Benjamin Ortiz, a cook at Delta Restaurant. “A lot of businesses have closed down, but Delta Restaurant is still here.”

But, the question now is how long can they last?

Delta Restaurant in Wilmington has been churning out breakfast and lunch specialties for 20 years, but Ortiz, a cook at the 9th Street restaurant, says a new round of COVID-19 restrictions will further hurt the business.

“If it wasn’t for the locals and loyal customers that we’ve accumulated over the years, we probably would have to shut down,” Ortiz said.

On Monday, indoor dining capacity is being reduced to 30%.

Other indoor venues are being forced to lower their capacity to no more than 50 people. Outdoor public gatherings are also being capped at 50 people.

“It only takes one person to be positive for that exposure to result in a transmission and that’s kinda the point, the logic behind a restriction movement,” Delaware Gov. John Carney said.

Since the start of the pandemic, over 30,000 Delawareans have tested positive for the virus.

Carney says nearly half of the state’s population has been tested at least once.

But now, the test positivity rate, the number of new cases and hospitalizations are all up.

Back at Delta Restaurant, they say they’ll keep serving for as long as they can.

“We do a lot of takeout and we’re still going to be able to do takeout,” Ortiz said. “But we really don’t know what’s going to happen because people are already scared, so with these new restrictions and new wave of COVID hitting the country, we truly don’t know what’s going to happen.”

The new restrictions go into effect at 8 a.m. on Monday morning.


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