With the school year quickly approaching and COVID-19 cases steadily rising, Governor John Carney announced in a recent press release a new mask mandate for schools.
Effective Monday, August 16, all public and private school students in kindergarten through 12th grade, staff, teachers and visitors must wear masks indoors. This mandate will apply to all, regardless of vaccination status, including to those in childcare centers and homes for children two years of age or older.
Gov. Carney’s actions coincide with the guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). The CDC recommends universal indoor masking by everybody in the schools as well as maintaining three feet of social distancing between students. it also recommends following proper social distancing protocols such as testing, ventilation, handwashing and more.
Since children ages 12 and younger are unable to be vaccinated, the administration is taking extra precautions to ensure that all students and workers are safe for their return to in-person school this fall.
Not only are Delaware school systems mandated to wear masks, but all state employees and visitors are required to wear face coverings indoors, too. Delaware is also requiring all state employees, long-term care and healthcare workers to be vaccinated or undergo regular testing. This mandate will go into effect September 30.
As of August 11, the total positive cases in the First State was 113,090 according to Delaware.gov, with New Castle County having 66,767 positive cases, Kent County at 18,947 and Sussex County at 27,145.