Delaware beaches closed to help slow spread of COVID-19

Gov. John Carney on Saturday ordered Delaware beaches closed to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The public is prohibited from accessing the beach except to exercise or walk their dogs where dogs are permitted.


The governor's order went into effect Saturday night and will last until May 15, or "until the public health threat of COVID-19 has been eliminated."


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“We need everyone to take this situation seriously," Carney said in a statement. "We saw too many people on the beaches yesterday and we weren’t seeing the kind of social distancing that we need in order to slow the spread of coronavirus."

An earlier emergency declaration from Carney prohibited public gatherings of 50 or more people for several weeks. Violations are considered a criminal offense.

Carney already ordered casinos be closed, and that restaurant and bars restrict their operations to take-out, drive-thru and delivery services.

Delawareans with questions about COVID-19 can call the state's Coronavirus Call Center at 1-866-408-1899, or 711 for individuals with hearing impairments. Questions can also be submitted by email at


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The Associated Press contributed to this report.