Del. coronavirus recovery: Carney ‘mad as hell’ state back on N.J., N.Y. quarantine list

A nurse with ChristianaCare gives a free test for the coronavirus to a driver in Delaware. (Butch Comegys for WHYY)

A nurse with ChristianaCare gives a free test for the coronavirus to a driver in Delaware. (Butch Comegys for WHYY)

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As of Tuesday at noon, Delaware has reported 13,746 coronavirus cases and 525 related deaths, with 58 people currently hospitalized.

Delaware Governor John Carney was ticked off earlier this month when residents of his state were briefly put on the 14-day quarantine lists for travel to New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.

But today, Delawareans were put back on the list for New Jersey and New York. Pennsylvania’s list hasn’t been updated since Friday and by then Delaware was off the list.

Carney was so peeved that he cut off a reporter who asked about it during his weekly press briefing.

“Yeah, I’m mad hell, frankly,’’ Carney barked. “And it doesn’t make any sense.’’

Carney pointed out that under the new daily case threshold used by New Jersey and New York is 97 for Delaware — which amounts to one-hundredth of one percent of its population of 970,000. Delaware’s rolling five-day average is about 105 cases, said Carney, which is less than what it was when Delaware was first put on the list.

“As I said to [New Jersey] Governor Murphy and [New York} Governor Cuomo last week, we’re going to be on and off unless we stop testing and we’re not going to stop testing,’’ Carney said when he calmed down. “Particularly we’re going to focus on testing where we think we have an outbreak.”

Thirty-one states are on the travel advisory list for New Jersey, which has been one of  America’s hardest-hit states but has seen cases steadily decline.

Grand Opera House lays off most of its staff

The Grand Opera House, a cultural and entertainment icon in Wilmington for the last century and a half, is laying off more than half of the full-time employees because the coronavirus pandemic has devastated its funding sources, executive director Mark Fields announced Monday.

The remaining employees will also take significant pay cuts, said Fields, who added that the theatre has a $2 million shortfall in its $7 million operating budget.

There hasn’t been a live show since March at any of the Grand’s three performing halls in downtown Wilmington.

“We are heartbroken that this virus has taken away our ability to put on shows,” the Grand’s board said in a statement released Monday that mentioned but did not detail the cuts. “Not ever wanting to jeopardize the health of our employees or patrons in order to put on a live performance, we simply can’t do it safely right now, which is the driving force behind this decision.”

The board added, “We know there will come a day when we can once again put on shows safely, which is why it’s imperative that we preserve The Grand for that day so we can do what we do best — entertain and enrich the community.”

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