Member Alert - 5.5.20
View this email in your browser

AS OF May 5, 2020

The Chamber will be forwarding this information to Delaware Elected Officials Today-

The Mayor of Ocean City has issued an Emergency Declaration to reopen the Town’s Beach, Boardwalk and Inlet Parking Lot this weekend.

Mayor Rick Meehan has issued an emergency declaration to reopen the beach, beach access points, the Boardwalk and the Inlet parking lot to everyone effective this Saturday, May 9. Social distancing and social gathering limitations of no more than 10 people still apply.
Many businesses have asked how they can reach the Governor's Office with questions or concerns about Delaware's Economic Recovery.
The contact numbers for the Governor's Office are:
Dover:  302-744-4101
Wilmington:  302-577-3210
The Rehoboth Beach - Dewey Beach Chamber of Commerce, it's Board, and Membership agree fully with this correspondence.

Delawareans are desperate for action

The following letter was sent to Gov. John Carney April 30, with a copy submitted to the Cape Gazette for publication.
On March 12, you used your authority under the Delaware Code (Title 20, Chapter 31) to declare a state of emergency in reaction to the perceived threat posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since that time, you have renewed the state of emergency and issued 13 modifications of the declaration.
We were supportive of the initial actions you took. Given the dire projections and the opinions of health experts at the time, we too believed these actions were prudent and necessary. Even when we have had differing opinions regarding the state’s response, our members have worked with your administration behind the scenes to present a united front during one of our state’s most difficult periods.
Today is the 49th day Delawareans are living under the restrictions imposed by your state-of-emergency declaration. With the lives and livelihoods of our citizens under threat, we can no longer remain silent.
While COVID-19 poses a significant public health concern, the efforts to curtail its spread have created their own problems that are just as alarming.
Each of us has been in contact with hundreds of anxious citizens, small business owners, and nonprofit organizations that have all but exhausted their resources. More than 75,000 Delawareans have filed for unemployment benefits since March 15.
Many have yet to receive their first check. Thousands of additional independent contractors and self-employed individuals will not even be able to apply for such benefits until May 11. Vast numbers of Delaware businesses, even those allowed to operate under the state of emergency, are struggling to stay viable.
We are seven full weeks into the current economic disruption.
Ironically, the shutdown done to protect our citizens has had a substantial negative impact on public health. The heightened anxiety created by the loss of jobs and incomes will inevitably lead to spikes in stress-related problems, such as heart attacks, substance abuse, suicides and depression.
Thousands of Delawareans have lost their healthcare coverage, or will soon lose it, as businesses and jobs unable to survive the current turmoil disappear.
More government aid is not the answer. Enhanced unemployment benefits, and new government loans and grants, while buying some time, cannot take the place of a functioning economy.
Reengaging Delaware’s economy needs to be a top consideration, yet your restart plan lacks any sense of urgency or predictability.
It calls for three conditions to be met before the three-phase plan can even begin: “a 14-day decline in the percentage of positive cases; the ability to treat COVID-19 patients in hospitals without crisis care; and extensive testing programs for healthcare workers.”
The first condition is the most troubling. Your administration has prioritized increased testing, especially in hot spot areas.
This will lead to the discovery of more cases. This is a flawed metric on which to base the recovery since a higher case rate is a function of expanded tection, not an increased threat to public health.
After seven weeks of tracking COVID-19 information, we now know it poses the largest danger to several well-defined groups. Of the total deaths linked to the novel coronavirus in Delaware thus far, all but eight had underlying health issues, 61.1 percent resided in long-term care facilities, and more than 90 percent were senior citizens.
Like other viruses of the past, it is unlikely we can ever fully eradicate COVID-19. Fortunately, treatments are emerging, and vaccines are under development. However, even the most optimistic projections indicate significant quantities of an effective vaccine will not be available until at least September.
Even accepting this estimate, it would be more than four months before any Delawareans could receive a COVID-19 inoculation. It would take many additional weeks to vaccinate the entire population and for those receiving the shots to develop full immunity.
Our citizens, small business operators, and nonprofit groups cannot afford to remain in forced stasis indefinitely. The clock is quickly running out.
For many, it is already too late. Some business owners will never reopen their doors, with the jobs they provided permanently lost. Our economy is likely to emerge from this shutdown under recessionary conditions and it will take months for momentum to build and for the public to be willing and capable of engaging in commerce anywhere near pre-pandemic levels.
We need to restart our economy now in a way that responsibly manages risk; allows businesses to resume operations under protocols to curtail the spread of the virus; and provides our citizens and businesses with a predictable path forward that allows them to make plans on which they can act.
This need not be a binary decision. We can continue to take action to mitigate the spread of the virus; institute aggressive steps to protect those groups most at risk from severe consequences of infection; and allow citizens and businesses to return to work in a responsible manner.
Rep. Danny Short
Rep. Tim Dukes
Rep. Ruth Briggs King
Rep. Rich Collins
Rep. Ron Gray
Rep. Kevin Hensley
Rep. Shannon Morris
Rep. Charles Postles
Rep. Mike Ramone
Rep. Bryan Shupe
Rep. Mike Smith
Rep. Steve Smyk
Rep. Jeff Spiegelman
Rep. Jesse Vanderwende
Rep. Lyndon Yearick
Delaware House of Representatives
Recovery Town Hall
with Lt. Governor Bethany Hall-Long

Lieutenant Governor Bethany Hall-Long is hosting a Recovery Town Hall tomorrow, Wednesday, May 6, at 7:30 p.m. with stakeholder groups and members of the public to collect public feedback that will inform Delaware’s recovery effort. This town hall will be focused on Sussex County. 
Click Here For Viewing Details
 Delawareans are encouraged to submit questions and feedback ahead of the event on Facebook.
If you have questions, please give Carol a call on the Member hotline at 302-227-6446 or on her cell phone at 302-542-7547.
Sent by the:
Rehoboth Beach - Dewey Beach Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center
Celebrating 80 Years of Service • 1940-2020
Visitors Center · 501 Rehoboth Avenue · Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971
Administrative Offices · 306 Rehoboth Avenue · Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971
302-227-6446 ·

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences