Dewey Beach

UPDATE: The Town of Dewey Beach released a statement Saturday on the comments made by Commissioner Paul Bauer that were quoted in this article.

"The Town of Dewey Beach would like to correct some misleading information regarding out-of-state visitors coming to the town. The town is NOT placing stickers or any markers on houses if someone from out of state is staying at their second home. If there is a complaint, the police will advise people of the need to quarantine in accordance with the Governor's declaration.

We apologize for any confusion this may have caused due to prior statements that were made."

WDEL has reached out to the Town of Dewey Beach for why the statement was made, and not immediately corrected, during Friday's Town Council meeting.

This is the audio on the topic from Friday's meeting, with Dewey Commissioner Paul Bauer and Mayor Dale Cooke. 

ORIGINAL ARTICLE: 

Dog walking and exercise are now permitted in Dewey Beach following a conversation at Friday's Commissioners Meeting, but if you're coming to town from out-of-state, get ready for a sticker.

Governor John Carney closed Delaware's beaches on March 21 to all but exercise and walking, but most towns decided to take it a step further and shut them off completely. 

After Ocean City, Maryland announced they would reopen their beaches to the level Carney had prescribed, town-by-town, Delaware has followed suit, and it was Dewey's turn Friday.

Town Manager Scott Koenig told the Commissioners what their decision would mean.

"What Dewey Beach would be doing is taking down the chains. People cannot sit on the beach, they can't take their lawn chairs or beach chairs and sit down, they must be actively exercising or walking on the beach."

As for the enforcement of the rules, Koenig said they hope people will be self-policing.

"I forsee what I would call a soft monitoring. We're going to tell people that they need to follow the social distancing rules. I'm going to leave it up to people to be adults."

Dewey follows Lewes, Fenwick, South Bethany, North Shores, and Henlopen Acres in opening up their beaches for exercise, leaving Rehoboth and Bethany as the holdouts just two weekends away from Memorial Day.

Mayor Dale Cooke said he was hoping Governor Carney's Friday Press Conference would give the beaches more guidance, but it sounds like that's being pushed to at least next week.

"I really wanted to hear more positive aspects about opening the beach and businesses to open up more. I hope that would come shortly in the future, and I think he's indicated that it's coming, but it would be a real phased-in operation."

Dewey, which has paid parking beginning on May 15, is considering reserving spaces in front of its businesses so they could do carry-out service.

As for those coming into town from out-of-state, Commissioner Paul Bauer said he learned of the town's enforcement of the mandatory 14-day quarantine before doing anything else, including going to the store.

"If you're coming in from out-of-state, our police will put a sticker on the house saying this is a house that has someone come in from out of state who has to quarantine for two weeks."

"We actually have that procedure?" Cooke asked.

 "I talked to Chief about that, and that's what he explained is his our procedure on that."

Dewey's Commissioners are scheduled to meet again on May 22, just 10 days before Delaware's Phase 1 of reopening is expected to begin.