Delaware governor cancels events after cabinet secretary catches COVID

Delaware Emergency Management Agency Secretary A.J. Schall (de.gov)

Delaware Emergency Management Agency Secretary A.J. Schall (de.gov)

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Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA) Secretary A.J. Schall found out he tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday. Earlier in the week, Schall spent time with Delaware Gov. John Carney, including during the weekly coronavirus briefing on Tuesday.

Despite that contact with Schall, Carney says he’s not in quarantine, but he is limiting activities this week.

“I have not been identified as a close contact by the Division of Public Health, based on mask-wearing and social distancing precautions,” Carney said in a statement. “Out of an abundance of caution, I am canceling public events this week and will exercise caution in any interactions with others, as always.”

Schall and his son were tested for last Monday, Nov. 23. Those tests came back negative, so Schall went ahead with an in-person appearance at Carney’s briefing on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, Schall experienced some minor, cold-like symptoms and was retested. That test came back positive on Friday.

“I am fortunate to have minor symptoms so far and appreciate the well wishes,” Schall said. “I am following all guidance from the Division of Public Health and encourage you to do the same.  Wear a mask, physical distance and get tested.”

DEMA says Schall is in contact with agency leadership and the governor’s office while he’s at home in isolation.

“This only underscores the seriousness of this virus,” Carney said. “It’s a real threat — especially for our most vulnerable friends, neighbors and loved ones. Let’s all do our part to limit the spread this winter.”

Carney will host this week’s coronavirus briefing on Tuesday, albeit virtually.

As of Sunday, 243 Delawareans are hospitalized for coronavirus treatment. That’s more than double the number of hospitalizations from the start of November, when the hospital count was 111. The state is averaging 488 new cases per day.

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