WILMINGTON, Del. (CBS) — Delaware is joining Pennsylvania in announcing additional restrictions amid a surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. Gov. John Carney said Thursday the new mitigation efforts will take effect next week and last until Jan. 11.
Under the restrictions, most restaurants and retail businesses will be limited to 30% capacity, but any business that exceeds 100,000 square feet will be restricted to 20% capacity, Carney said.
For any business below 5,000 square feet, all houses of worship and funeral services will be limited to 40% capacity, according to Carney. Employees will not be counted as part of the business capacity restrictions.
There will be a 10 p.m. curfew in Delaware for restaurants and bars.
“These additional restrictions are intended to protect Delaware’s hospital capacity and protect lives this winter,” Carney said in a statement. “Health care workers are on the job around the clock, caring for the sick. We all need to follow their lead and do our part to protect others. Don’t gather with anyone outside of your household. Any interaction is riskier when community spread is at current levels. Wear a mask whenever you’re around someone outside your household — even if they’re family or friends. Wash or sanitize your hands frequently. COVID-19 can cause serious illness and worse, especially for our most vulnerable friends, family members, and neighbors. Please take this seriously.”
Delaware will not be closing gyms but will be limiting classes to no more than 10 people and exercise machines will need to be spaced at least 10 feet apart from each other.
Carney said indoor gatherings at public places and businesses will be limited to lesser than 30% of the venue’s capacity or 10 people.
The new restrictions will take effect at 8 a.m. on Monday.
Last week, Carney announced a new stay-at-home advisory, asking everyone in the state to avoid gathering indoors with anyone outside their household from Dec. 14 through Jan. 11 — the same timeframe as the new restrictions.
Carney also issued a universal mask mandate, requiring state residents to wear a face mask whenever they are indoors with someone from outside of their household.
“A vaccine is on the way but, make no mistake, we are facing the most difficult few months of this crisis,” Carney said in a statement last week. “I know we’re all tired of COVID-19, but it’s not tired of us. We’re pleading with Delawareans to do the right thing. Wear a mask. It’s a simple sacrifice to protect others, and to make sure that Delaware’s children get an education.”
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