Delaware is under a State of Emergency. Here are answers to frequently asked questions about what this means for you. More Info
The cloth face covering order started Tuesday morning on April 28, 2020 at 8:00 a.m. and is scheduled to last 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 Kindergarten aged and above 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 schools, 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.
The order also introduced new rules for businesses that take effect Friday, May 1, 2020 at 8 a.m., including the following:
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.
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.
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.