- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 1, 2020

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - Bars in certain Delaware beach towns will close ahead of the Fourth of July holiday to limit the spread of the coronavirus, the state’s governor said.

The new order from Delaware Gov. John Carney announced Tuesday orders bars in eastern Sussex County to close beginning on Friday morning, and only serve customers who are seated at tables.

“Clearly we’ve had an outbreak among bars, restaurants, social activity in Delaware beaches,” Carney said during a Tuesday news conference. “We’ve also witnessed throughout our state but in particularly in beach communities complacency with respect to mask wearing and social distancing.”

The latest order comes on the same day commissioners in the city of Rehoboth Beach voted unanimously to require people over the age of 12 to wear face coverings in public spaces. The governor’s decision to close down bars was a factor in the commissioners’ decision, the city said in a statement.

There have been nearly 11,500 positive coronavirus cases in Delaware, and about 500 people have died in the state due to the virus, according to the state’s health department,

“COVID-19 has not gone away,” Carney said in a news release announcing the order. “We need to protect our progress, and stay vigilant.”

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