The Division of Public Health and the Division of Small Business's Health Systems Protection section will begin using a broad array of enforcement actions, which may include business closures.
The Delaware Division of Public Health will begin enforcing the state's reopening requirements for businesses.
Last week, the division announced a partnership with the Division of Small Business that created the Health Systems Protection section. While collaboration and education for non-compliance is the preferred action in most cases, the section will have a broad array of enforcement actions available to it, including issuing violations and business closures, as warranted.
Some restaurants and bars have chosen to close, limit hours or limit services based on concerns over the spread of infection in the beach community. The Division of Public Health expressed appreciation, support and encouragement for any prevention measures businesses may implement.
“We are extremely concerned by yet another cluster of COVID-19 cases in the beach area and the potential for spread to others both at work and in social gatherings,” said Division of Public Health Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. “We know that some of the positive persons have been at parties recently, potentially transmitting the virus to others who may still be here or may have returned to their homes in other counties or states. We are also concerned by our own staff observations in the beach area and pictures seen on social media of people not wearing face coverings or social distancing while they are out and about, including at bars and restaurants. Make no mistake, continuing this behavior is a recipe for disaster. It is a sure way for us to end up with widespread infection that ultimately may not be contained to the beach area.”
Rattay indicated that the risk for widespread infection, hospitalization and even death is higher when people spend more time close together, without social distancing and/or wearing face coverings, in an indoor setting such as a restaurant or bar.
The Division of Public Health asks anyone who observes either lack of social distancing or lack of use of face coverings by patrons or staff at businesses to report it to HSPContact@delaware.gov. All complaints are anonymous.
“We truly need the public’s cooperation to report when they see persons at businesses not wearing face coverings or social distancing as required,” said Division of Public Health Medical Director Dr. Rick Hong. “Every individual has the opportunity to play an important role in our statewide infection control efforts by telling us when they see something wrong."
For the latest on Delaware’s response to the pandemic, go to de.gov/coronavirus.
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