Carney says state needs to see a 3 percent or lower rate of positive Covid-19 cases to spur reopenings

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Gov. John Carney said Delawwareans need to drive down the rate of positive cases of Covid-19 to the three percent mark or lower.

Carney made the remark at his weekly Covid-19 press conference on Tuesday.

The two to three percent benchmark would allow schools to move from the yellow to the green zone and would clear the way for more in-class instruction, Carney stated.

A green designation would also ensure a more rapid economic recovery since businesses could operate with fewer restrictions.

“We’ve flattened out in the past month or so with blips here and there,” Carney said.

Carney singled out Sussex as a county that needs to do more to reduce new cases. The county has been the site of outbreaks that included the poultry community, beach areas and the Sussex Correctional Institution.

Of late, the rate of positive cases in the state has hovered around the 4.5 percent mark. Metrics used by New York, New Jersey and Connecticut have led to quarantine orders for those traveling to those states from Delaware.

“It’s beyond me why we are off and on the list,” said Carney, who noted that the common quarantine benchmark is a positive test rate of 10 percent.

Meanwhile, the yellow school designation allows schools the option of having a hybrid format with a combination of remote and in-class instruction.

Carney says he wants to see more in-class instruction, especially for students with learning challenges.

Private and parochial schools are opting for in-class instruction, thanks to smaller enrollments that allow for more social distancing, Carney stated.

To date, some public districts will stick with remote classes in the early going. The Brandywine School District in northern Delaware will go the remote route until November. Other districts will go with the hybrid model.

Carney continues to plead with Delawareans to wear masks, take Covid-19 tests and maintain social distancing.

More testing could lead to a lower percentage of positive tests, Carney noted.

In a related development, Carney acknowledged the challenges that come with students returning to the University of Delaware and Delaware State University.

Some universities have moved to remote classes after students held large parties and in some cases tested positive for the virus.

The state is working with the City of Newark and the University of Delaware on issues related to the return to campus.

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