State Police take action to send message to out-of-state visitors
The Delaware State Police (DSP) have begun stopping out-of-state drivers to emphasize Governor John Carney’s order for such visitors to quarantine themselves for two weeks.
On Sunday, the governor’s seventh modification to his State of Emergency declaration ordered all out-of-state travelers coming into Delaware to immediately isolate themselves for 14-days to curtail the spread of COVID-19.
The order carries the weight of law, but there were many reports that it was being ignored.
Earlier today (4/3), state troopers took dramatic action by conducting a checkpoint in northern New Castle County at Naamans Road and Society Drive. About 500 vehicles were detained during the two-and-a-half-hour operation.
“The troopers stressed that the primary purpose of the stop was to inform and to educate,” said DSP Public Information Officer, Master Corporal Michael Austin, in a prepared statement. “Although violating the order does constitute a criminal offense, there were no citations issued or arrests made.”
Today’s midday action followed directed patrols on roadways in the Claymont area last night, which had been identified as having a large volume of out-of-state travelers. Under the modified State of Emergency declaration, all Delaware law enforcement officers are empowered to stop any vehicle displaying out-of-state tags. This authorization does not apply to vehicles traveling on I-95, I-295, or I-495.
“During the stop, the officer may ask limited questions related to the driver’s recent travel,” Master Corporal Austin said. “The driver then must be informed of the governor’s declaration and explicitly advised that if they are coming into Delaware from out-of-state, they are required by law, to self-quarantine for 14 days while in Delaware, or immediately return to their home state.”
Exceptions to the self-quarantine order for travelers, include:
- Motorists passing through Delaware while traveling to other states.
- Those traveling from their home state to work for a an essential business in Delaware.
- Those caring for a family member in Delaware.
- People coming into the state for health care reasons (e.g. visiting a pharmacy, going to a veterinarian, meeting with a physician).
According to Master Corporal Austin, directed patrols throughout the state will continue to encourage voluntary compliance.