Gov. John Carney said Tuesday that ending mask updates for vaccinated residents on Friday wasn’t an easy decision
At the weekly coronavirus briefing, Carney said he had a conversation with neighboring Gov. Phil Murphy, D-New Jersey. Murphy opted to wait longer to end the mask mandate.
Carney said he was weighing the decision to wait longer, but based on conversations with public health advisors opted to go with the Friday date.
One factor working in the state’s favor is a 90 percent vaccination rate among the state’s population of seniors, according to Carney.
Delaware now ranks 15th in the number of Covid-19 cases per 100,000 residents, with New Jersey at No. 12. Maryland has a significantly lower number of cases per 100,000 with Gov. Larry Hogan ending restrictions last weekend.
California, which has a lower case rate than Delaware, opted to wait until June 15 to end mask mandates.
Carney said it was unfortunate that media coverage of Centers for Disease Control guidance that says fully vaccinated Americans have little chance of catching the virus gave only passing references to its other recommendations.
The guidance also advised masks being used in schools, health care centers, public transportation and crowded settings. Carney, who is fully vaccinated, noted that he will continue to wear a mask during his morning visits to Wawa.
Carney and state Public Health Director Dr. Karyl Rattay acknowledged that the public will operate on the “honor system” when it comes to vaccinations and wearing masks.
Rattay said people should be respectful of decisions to wear or not wear masks.
Retail establishments and restaurants have been worried about confrontations over masks.
Carney would not rule out outbreaks of the virus among those who are not vaccinated. This is especially true in Kent County, which lags the rest of the state in the percentage of vaccinated residents.
“Things are getting better, but Covid has not gone away,” Rattay added.
Delaware is now at work vaccinated 12 to 15-year-olds who are now eligible for the two-dose Pfizer offering.
Rattay reported her daughter and her friends are excited about getting the vaccine and being able to spend more time with their friends.
Carney said Delaware shares President Biden’s goal of having 70 percent of residents vaccinated by July 4.
State Emergency Management Director A.J. Schall d8d report a decline in Covid-19 testing as the number of vaccinated Delaware residents increases
Schall said Covid-19 inoculations have moved to smaller venues, such as fire halls in areas with low rates of vaccinations.