The State of Delaware will extend the emergency masking requirement in public and private K-12 schools until February 8.
The emergency masking regulation currently in effect is set to expire on Dec. 10, with an option to extend the order another 60 days.
The mask order in school has produced blowback in Delaware and elsewhere, with some Republican governors threatening punishment for school districts that require masks.
Gov. John Carney has opted for a statewide mandate despite criticism from those who claim the order violates the Constitution and parental rights. Critics also claim, without evidence, that masks harm children.
“Delaware children from kindergarten through high school are now eligible for Covid-19 vaccination, which will go a long way in protecting the health of students, educators, and school communities statewide,” said Carney. “It’s our hope that, by February, we will be able to lift the state mask requirement. Our focus over the coming weeks and months will be on increasing Delaware’s vaccination rates. That’s how we’ll finally move past this pandemic. These vaccines are free, safe, and extremely protective against the Covid-19 virus. Getting the shot will keep Delaware’s children protected, and keep them in school. I’d encourage all eligible Delawareans to get their shot.”
More than 82 percent of all Delaware adults have received at least one shot of the Covid-19 vaccine, and more than 60 percent of all Delawareans are fully vaccinated, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“The Covid-19 vaccine is safe, effective, and now available to everyone ages five and older in Delaware. That’s really exciting,” said Dr. Karyl Rattay, director of the Delaware Division of Public Health. “We know from the data that this vaccine does a great job protecting children from the Covid-19 virus and serious illness. Getting the Covid vaccine will also keep Delaware children in school, and prevent quarantines in the event of exposure to the virus. Talk to your doctor if you have questions about the vaccine and visit de.gov/getmyvaccine for more information.”