Delaware's sights are set on June 15th as the planned beginning for Phase II of reopening following the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.
On Tuesday, Governor John Carney detailed certain nuances to his "Rolling Reopening" plan, including the opening of tattoo parlors, massage therapy services, nail care, and the like all permitted to reopen June 8, 2020, at 30% occupancy, by appointment only.
"I know there are a lot of folks who both run these businesses as well as those of us who need haircuts, [who're happy] to see those businesses open," Carney said.
On June 15th, most businesses that are currently open at an occupancy of 30% their designated fire code will be permitted to expand customer access to 60%, including restaurants. Personal care facilities and gyms will remain at 30% because of shared equipment usage and the need for thorough cleanings between visitors.
Perhaps the biggest highlight for parents who've been at home with a child throughout the pandemic: Phase II means childcare is reopened to all Delawareans again and no longer restricted solely to the use by essential employees.
"That's a very critical piece of it, as you would all know," he said. "But if you're able to keep your children home, please do so, because we do need to keep smaller group sizes there."
Summer camps also reopen in Phase 2.
Officials issued guidance Friday regarding the permission for summer camps, summer schools, …
Indoor gather limitations will also be expanded to 50 people at a time with social distancing and face coverings still expected. While those are the recommendations of public health officials, it will be more difficult to continue following some of these rules as more bodies are permitted into smaller spaces.
"We're going to start coming back together again, and [it's] a really important time to really emphasize the importance of face coverings for children," Dr. Karyl Rattay, Director for the Division of Public Health said. "When the governor showed the age breakdown for cases, we have seen all along that our cases look relatively low among children compared to other age groups. However, part of that may likely be because children don't tend to have symptoms and so are less likely to be tested. But we do know that children are contributing to the spread of infection. We also know many children live at home with vulnerable populations. So it is really important that we do all we can to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 between children and among children consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and the American Academy of Pediatrics."
No children ages 2 and under should be wearing face coverings, as they are a suffocation risk at that age, but above that age, face masks are recommended just as they would be for an adult, especially for the 5 to 12 age group that will be coming back together for summer camp and similar activities. Rattay noted it wouldn't be appropriate for children who touch their faces a great deal already, or who may have behavioral or physical challenges that would make wearing a face mask detrimental, like those with autism or asthma.
You can view Delaware's complete Phase 2 Reopening plan here: