Delaware announced more statewide closures to fight the spread of the new coronavirus as the number of COVID-19 cases rose to 26.
Gov. John Carney announced all movie theaters, bowling alleys, concert venues and gyms will close across the state. Public gatherings of 50 people or more have also been banned. In addition to the newly-announced closures, all restaurants, taverns and bars in Delaware are currently limited to drive-thru, takeout and delivery service. Businesses with a valid on-premise license to sell alcohol are allowed to do so through take-out or drive-thru service but can't sell alcohol through a delivery service.
Delaware also closed all gaming activity at casinos.
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Gov. Carney also said they are working on ways to provide relief to workers and business owners impacted by the closures, including a hospitality loan program for restaurants.
The closures and restrictions come as the number of new coronavirus cases continue to rise. Officials reported 26 total COVID-19 cases in Delaware so far, 20 in New Castle County, three in Kent County and three in Sussex County.
Of the reported cases, 14 are men and 12 are women. The age range is between 18 and 80. Three of the cases are hospitalized and one is in critical condition.
At least 14 cases are connected to the University of Delaware, where a professor became Delaware's first confirmed case of coronavirus last week.
State officials believe a professor at the university contracted the virus from someone from out of state. Then, he was in close contact with two graduate students and a postdoctoral researcher at an off-campus social event in February, University President Dennis Assanis said in an email.
Delawareans with general questions about COVID-19 or their exposure risk can call the Division of Public Health’s Coronavirus Call Center at 1-866-408-1899, or 711 for individuals who are hearing impaired, from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. You can also email your questions to DPHCall@delaware.gov.