Multiple COVID cases reported after in-person meetings at Delaware capitol

State health officials say multiple people, including Gov. John Carney, have tested positive for COVID-19 after a series of events in and around Legislative Hall.

Delaware State Capitol Building in Dover. (Paul Brady/Bigstock)

The state Capitol in Dover, Delaware. (benkrut/BigStock)

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As Delaware state lawmakers launch several weeks of budget hearings, health officials warn those planning to attend to mask up.

After three weeks of session for Delaware’s General Assembly, the state Division of Public Health says there’s been multiple positive cases of COVID-19 believed to be connected to events in and around Legislative Hall.

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Lawmakers will not meet in session over the next several weeks as the Joint Finance Committee holds hearings in Dover on Gov. John Carney’s budget that was presented last Thursday. DPH’s interim director Dr. Rick Hong encourages anyone planning to attend those hearings to wear a mask.

“We want the public to know about the potential risk so that they can evaluate their own situation and make informed choices about how to participate in the legislative process,” Hong said in a statement.

In addition to mask-wearing, Hong recommends anyone visiting Legislative Hall keep six feet away from anyone outside their household.

“Having this information is particularly important for older Delawareans and those with weakened immune systems or chronic conditions so they can decide how they best want to protect themselves,” he said.

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The warning comes just days after Gov. John Carney announced he was diagnosed with another case of COVID-19 Saturday.

After moving to virtual meetings at the outset of the pandemic in 2020, the General Assembly first returned to meeting in-person in April 2021. As COVID cases spiked in early 2022, sessions moved back online. This year’s session started earlier this month fully in person, though lawmakers have continued to livestream both House and Senate sessions as well as committee hearings.

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