Del. coronavirus recovery: Despite improvements, Gov. Carney continues warnings

Delaware Gov. John Carney

Delaware Gov. John Carney answers questions regarding Delaware’s response to coronavirus during a press briefing at the Carvel State Office building in Wilmington on April 3, 2020. (Saquan Stimpson for WHYY)

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Delaware added 63 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday afternoon, bringing the state’s total to 10,403. There was one more death, making the state’s total death toll 424.

Though the Division of Public Health has continued to report declining numbers, Gov. John Carney urged Delawareans not to get complacent.

“The fight isn’t over, we’ve won the first several battles, but we haven’t won the war. The virus still is present in our community, it is present at a less intense level, but it’s still there,” Carney said. “Twenty-one states are seeing increases in average daily new cases, Delaware is not one of them so let’s keep it that way.”

The state started Phase 2 of its reopening plan on Monday with retail stores and restaurants allowed to expand customers from 30% to 60% of their maximum occupancy. Child care facilities can now serve children of all residents, not just essential workers.

As more and more businesses come back online, DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay warned that the fight against the virus is a marathon, and that race is still in its early stages. “People are tired of this pandemic, we’re all tired of this pandemic and we just want to go back to normal life, but the virus doesn’t care that we’re tired, the virus is still out there,” she said. “We’re doing well, we still have cases but we’re doing well, and that’s great, but we so desperately don’t want to be one of those 22 states that is increasing significantly.”

It’s not clear when Delaware will be able to enter Phase 3 of its reopening plan. Carney said he’ll be closely watching the data to determine when that might happen. “This is a message to really lean into the basic protections: wearing a mask, keeping your distance from those not in your household, continue to sanitize and wash your hands,” he said.

Barbers, salon owners get protective kits

ChristianaCare is distributing protective gear to barbershops and salons in hopes of helping support underserved neighborhoods in keeping safe from COVID-19. The hospital system’s Value Institute and Office of Health Equity will hand out kits that include masks and face shields, disposable capes, sanitation supplies, and educational materials.

Kits were distributed at Harriet Tubman Park near the Wilmington Riverfront and His Image Barber Lounge on the city’s west side.

Barbershops and salons were allowed to reopen to serve essential workers only in early May under strict guidelines including rigorous requirements for cleaning equipment. Those shops were not allowed to reopen to the general public even as gyms, restaurants, hotels, and most retail businesses opened at the start of June.

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