Coronavirus cases now confirmed in all three Delaware counties

An employee of the Department of General Services Division of Consolidated Laboratories' Virginia Public Health Labratory adds chemicals in the second step of testing a sample for the Coronavirus at the lab in Richmond, Va. on Wednesday, March 4, 2020. ( Joe Mahoney/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP)

An employee of the Department of General Services Division of Consolidated Laboratories' Virginia Public Health Labratory adds chemicals in the second step of testing a sample for the Coronavirus at the lab in Richmond, Va. on Wednesday, March 4, 2020. ( Joe Mahoney/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP)

Updated 5:05 p.m. 

Bowling alleys, movie theaters, fitness centers, and health spas in Delaware are being added to the list of businesses ordered closed under Gov. John Carney’s state of emergency declaration. Carney announced the change in Wilmington Wednesday afternoon.

“This is an evolving situation, and we need everyone’s cooperation in order to protect the health and safety of Delawareans, especially our most vulnerable neighbors,” Carney said. “We know our small-business and restaurant communities are among those most seriously impacted by the restrictions put in place to limit the spread of the coronavirus, and we’re looking at ways to assist them. But our priority is the health and safety of Delawareans.”

The closure rules go into effect at 8 a.m. Thursday morning.

Carney’s update permits any restaurant, brewpub, tavern, or taproom with a valid on-premise license to sell alcoholic beverages as part of takeout food service. Alcohol sales can make up only 40% of the transaction. Other typical rules for takeout alcohol sales remain in place, for instance, it cannot be consumed on site and containers must be securely closed.

The alcohol rules go into effect at 8 p.m. Wednesday.

The latest numbers from the state Division of Public Health show 26 Delawareans have  COVID-19. Twenty cases are in New Castle County. Kent and Sussex counties each have three cases. Of the 26 cases, 14 are men and 12 are women. They range in age from 18 to 80. Three of the patients are currently in the hospital, and only one is critically ill.

Delaware has 26 confirmed cases of coronavirus. The latest update from the Division of Public Health shows 20 cases in New Castle County, 3 in Kent County and 3 in Sussex County.

“Sadly, this individual is critically ill,” said Dr. Karyl Rattay, director of the Delaware Division of Public Health.

“Now more than ever, it is critical we take steps to take care of your own personal health and as well as help and protect those around us,” Rattay said during a webcast Q&A session. “Most importantly, if you are sick, especially with fever, or cough or shortness of breath, do not leave your home. Whether you think that you have been exposed to someone with coronavirus or not, it is critically important that you stay home.”

The bulk of Delaware’s confirmed cases are in New Castle County, with just one each in Kent and Sussex counties. The Sussex County patient is a parent of students at Benjamin Banneker Elementary School and Avenue Preschool in Milford. Milford School District officials say the parent is currently isolated at home.

Seven of the northern Delaware cases were connected to a professor and graduate students at the University of Delaware.

Wilmington officials announced Tuesday night that one of those New Castle County patients was a city public works employee. That employee is at home in self-quarantine, as are 11 other employees who interacted with the patient. Mayor Mike Purzycki said the facility would be cleaned overnight and city workers who didn’t interact with the patient would be back on the job Wednesday.

Following that announcement, Wilmington Councilmember Vash Turner called on Purzycki to shut down the public works building, as well as the City/County Building, which houses the city council and the mayor’s office, immediately.

“It is possible to close the buildings for sanitation and disinfecting while allowing workers who can work from home and keep non-salaried workers paid consistently,” Turner wrote in an emailed statement.

On Friday, Purzycki issued an executive order that suspended programs at the city’s community center. The order also halted water service disconnections and filings for sheriff sales.

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