Delaware takes action after surface photos of crowded food court; raises COVID issues


NEWARK, Delaware (WPVI) – According to AAA, 50 million Americans were scheduled to travel over this holiday weekend. While down from last year, it is still more than many health officials would like to see.
As people ventured to find deals in Newark, Delaware, Action News spoke with some of the concerns about COVID-19 after Thanksgiving. I’ve seen some of the test sites, and every time I pass they get so crowded. But I think I’ll come by to get tested, ”said Wanda Williams Nunnally of Townsend, Delaware.

Dr Erik Polan, assistant professor of internal medicine at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, says if you haven’t traveled but have seen people outside your immediate home, try to minimize going out and keep an eye out. about the symptoms.

“I’m just thinking of staying in touch with the people you vacationed with, minimizing your exposure afterwards, at least for the next week,” Polan said.

Action News spoke to people who have traveled to see their families.

“We see our kids so infrequently that we weren’t going to miss them, and we’ve been very healthy throughout,” said Debbie Bailie of Pensacola, Fla.

Although Delaware does not require quarantine for out-of-state travelers, state advice says travel poses a greater risk of spreading the virus. Pennsylvania and New Jersey are asking out-of-state travelers to self-quarantine.

All three states have tightened restrictions one way or another ahead of the holidays.

On Friday, photos of a busy food court at Christiana Mall on Black Friday were uploaded by the Delaware Restaurant Association.

The post read in part, “How do you advocate celebrating Thanksgiving with just your immediate housekeeping … but also allow hundreds of people to congregate in the common food courts (without masks) as shown in these photos?” ”

“It just reminded me of the fact that as an industry, we just ask for the same consideration as all other industries,” said Carl Georigi, vice president of the Delaware Restaurant Association. He is also CEO of the Platinum Dining Group, which consists of six restaurants in northern Delaware.

This week again, Delaware’s domestic catering capacity fell from 60% to 30%, a blow to struggling restaurants. After the photos surfaced, the Delaware Department of Health and Human Services imposed a 100-person limit on food courts, citing concerns in Christiana and other malls.

“It helps to know that the government reacted so quickly … It will be interesting to see how far it helps, to level the playing field,” Georigi said.

A spokesperson for Christiana Mall said that while the mall complied with state regulations on Friday, they removed some of the food court tables for the remainder of the holiday weekend.

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