Delaware is under a State of Emergency. Here are answers to frequently asked questions about what this means for you. More Info

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Delaware Department of Justice
Attorney General
Kathy Jennings


COVID-19 FAQs


If you have questions or concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic, e-mail us at COVID.DOJ@delaware.gov.

Mask Order

The cloth face covering order started Tuesday morning on April 28, 2020 at 8:00 a.m. and is scheduled to last until May 31, 2020, or until the public health threat is eliminated.

A cloth face covering is a material that covers the nose and mouth. It can be secured to the head with ties or straps or simply wrapped around the lower face. It can be made of a variety of materials, such as cotton, silk, or linen. Research has shown that certain more densely-woven fabrics may be more effective. A cloth face covering may be factory-made or sewn by hand, or can be improvised from household items such as scarfs, T-shirts, sweatshirts, or towels.

No. Medical grade masks such as N95 masks and surgical masks are in short supply, and you should not purchase those masks as face coverings. Those medical grade masks should be reserved for health care providers and first responders.

The state is requiring a face covering. That means any sort of cloth face covering, like a scarf, bandana or T-shirt, will satisfy the requirement.

A cloth face covering is required for anyone over 12 years old in most public settings. Any child 2-years-old or younger MUST NOT wear a face covering, due to the risk of suffocation.

People who violate an emergency order can be fined up to $500 or subject to imprisonment for up to six (6) months for each violation.

The order requires everyone in public settings, including grocery stores, pharmacies, doctor’s offices and public transportation, to wear a face covering. The order also includes outdoor public spaces like parks and golf courses if you cannot maintain social distancing of six (6) feet between yourself and people who do not live with you. Also, if you are sick, wear a cloth face covering over your nose and mouth if you must be around other people – even while at home.

You can exercise outside without wearing a cloth face covering so long as you can maintain social distancing of six (6) feet between yourself and people who do not live with you. State park visitors over the age of 13 are required to bring a mask with them.

You can walk around your neighborhood without a cloth face covering so long as you can maintain social distancing of six (6) feet between yourself and people who do not live with you. Taking a mask with you on your walk is a good idea.

Face masks can be made out of a variety of materials such as cotton, silk or linen. The Division of Public Health says that certain more densely woven fabrics may be more effective but improvised coverings made from scarves, T-shirts, towels and the like satisfy the order. Here is a step-by-step tutorial for making a mask out of a cotton fabric, and below is a video demonstrating how you can make a mask out of a T-shirt.

The Division of Public Health recommends washing cloth coverings after each use, or at least daily. They can be cleaned with detergent and hot water and dried on a hot cycle. The Division of Public Health says masks should be discarded if they have stretched out, have damaged straps, have rips or holes or no longer cover the mouth and nose.

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The order also introduced new rules for businesses that take effect Friday, May 1, 2020 at 8 a.m., including the following:

  • Employees must wear a face mask, provided at the business’ expense, while working in areas open to the public or places where coming within 6 feet of other employees is likely.
  • Businesses must also provide hand sanitizer for their employees.
  • Individuals who do not have a face covering should be denied entry.
  • If any business denying entry is providing medication, medical supplies or food, the business must provide alternate methods of pickup or delivery.

The primary role of cloth face coverings are to reduce the release of infectious particles into the air when someone speaks, coughs, or sneezes, including someone who has COVID-19 but may not show symptoms. Cloth face coverings are not a substitute for washing hands, physical distancing while performing essential activities, and staying home, but they may be helpful when combined with these actions.

Stay at Home Order

The Stay at Home Order started Tuesday morning on March 24, 2020 at 8:00 a.m. and is scheduled to last until May 31, 2020, or until the public health threat is eliminated.

The Stay at Home Order requires that people remain in their homes or places of residence and avoid going out in public unless they are engaged in an “Essential Activity” or “Essential Travel.”

Delaware’s Governor, John Carney, as part of several adjustments to ensure the public health during this pandemic.

The Stay at Home Order is needed to reduce the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (also known as COVID-19) in Delaware. Unless we all take steps to reduce the spread of this illness, Delaware’s health care systems will have more sick people than they can care for. By staying home and reducing your activities, you can help reduce the rate of spread of this illness in Delaware and avoid overburdening our health care systems.

People who violate an emergency order can be fined up to $500 or subject to imprisonment for up to six (6) months for each violation.

The Stay at Home Order will last until May 31, 2020 or until the public health threat is eliminated.

Yes, but only for Essential Activities or Essential Travel. If you leave your home, you must still practice social distancing by staying at least six feet away from other people.

If you do not live in Delaware, please see the sections on the out-of-state quarantine order below.

  • Maintain at least a six-foot distance from other people who are not in your household
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least twenty (20) seconds as frequently as possible or use hand sanitizer
  • Cover coughs or sneezes by sneezing into a tissue or your inner elbow (not your hands)
  • Regularly clean high-touch surfaces
  • Do not shake hands
  • Follow all CDC recommendations available at CDC.gov.

Yes. Unless we all take steps to reduce the spread of this illness, Delaware’s healthcare systems will have more sick people than our hospitals can support. While the symptoms are often less severe in the young, young and healthy people can become infected and transmit the virus to others. We need everyone to be cautious and practice social distancing.

No, social distancing is not required between members of the same household or one’s caregivers.

Essential Activities are activities that are necessary for you to maintain your health, and the health and wellbeing of your family members, including pets. Examples include:

  • Getting medical care and medical supplies, such as prescriptions
  • Buying food, household supplies, and pet supplies
  • Caring for family members, friends, or pets in other households
  • Doing laundry at a laundromat or dry cleaner
  • Going outside and exercising, such as walking, running, biking, fishing, or walking your dog

Essential Travel is any travel necessary for an Essential Activity. Examples include:

  • Travel to care for, or deliver supplies to, elderly persons, children, and people with disabilities
  • Travel to purchase food and other household supplies
  • Travel to care for pets
  • Travel to schools and other educational institutions where the travel is necessary to receive materials for distance learning, receiving meals, or any other related services
  • Travel necessary to return to your home or place of residence in Delaware
  • Travel necessary to return to your home or place of residence outside of Delaware’
  • Travel to comply with a court order, including a custody agreement
  • Travel to work for those businesses deemed essential to remain open

No, special permission or documentation is not required to drive in Delaware at this time.

Outdoor exercise like walking, running, hiking and fishing is allowed. When you are outside, you should still practice social distancing by running or walking at least six feet away from other people.

Yes, but you should still practice social distancing by staying at least six feet away from other people.

Most public playgrounds are closed and should be avoided. Additionally, you should avoid using basketball courts with other people, or using jungle gyms because they are not being wiped down between children who may climb on them. Remember, while exercising or playing outside, you should still practice social distancing by keeping six feet away from other people.

Yes, but only to exercise or walk your dog where dogs are permitted, and you should still practice social distancing by staying at least six feet away from other people. Many towns have closed areas near beaches, like boardwalks and parking lots.

Yes, but only if you are a Delaware resident or have been in Delaware for over 14 days. You should still practice social distancing by staying at least six feet away from other people on the course or in the facilities.

No, Delaware campgrounds are closed at this time.

Encourage her to stay home, call each other on the phone, or use FaceTime, Skype, or another video call option. Remember that you can travel to care for or deliver supplies to elderly persons, children, and people with disabilities, but not for social visits.

No. Grocery stores are open and are essential businesses. You are permitted to go to the store as needed to pick up what you need, including food, groceries, formula, and diapers, and toilet paper. Sellers have repeatedly indicated that there is plenty of supply and there is no reason to over-purchase.

Yes, takeout and delivery from restaurants is permitted in Delaware at this time.

You should delay the service if at all possible. If the service must take place, it must be limited to less than 10 individuals and must be conducted with strict adherence to the guidelines for protecting vulnerable populations, including proper hand hygiene and other social distancing requirements.

Additional information about COVID-19 and the Stay at Home Order is available here.

Out-of-State Self-Quarantine Order

Yes, but only if you work for an essential business. If you can do your job remotely (from home), you should do so.

You can return home now. You may be subject to similar self-quarantine requirements imposed by your home state.

Yes. Individuals traveling to care for a family member, friend, or pet in Delaware are not subject to the self-quarantine requirement.

Only if you are performing an essential business function or providing assistance or emergency services related to COVID-19.

You should remain in your primary residence. If you travel to Delaware to stay at your beach house, you must self-quarantine for fourteen (14) days upon arrival.

Yes. Motorists may pass through Delaware on their way to other states.

If you are required to self-quarantine, you must stay in your residence unless you have a medical emergency or require medical care. You may not go to work, school or public areas or use public transportation. You should separate from other people in your residence as much as possible and avoid sharing personal items. You must follow any subsequent quarantine guidance issued by the CDC or the Delaware Division of Public Health.

No, loved ones or friends should do your shopping for you. You are only permitted to leave for essential medical appointments.

Testing and Symptoms

To be tested, a referral from your provider is required. Symptoms include: fever AND either cough OR difficulty breathing, body aches and sore throat. Contact your primary care provider if you have one. Those without a healthcare provider should call the DPH Call Center at (866) 408-1899. More info at https://coronavirus.delaware.gov/testing/

*Bayhealth patients will be pre-screened via phone without needing to see a provider first.

If you have a primary care provider, please call them for further information. If you do not have a health care provider, please call the DPH Call Center at (866) 408-1899.

Due to restrictions in HIPAA and state privacy laws, the Division of Public Health is not permitted to provide that information.

Call your provider before your appointment to see if they are still conducting appointments. Many providers offer telemedicine services, call them in advance to find out if this is a service they offer. If you are unwell, please let your provider know and follow their guidance.



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