Feb 7, 2022 - Health

Delaware to end to mask mandates for schools, indoor settings

Delaware Governor John Carney

Delaware Governor John Carney in 2018. Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

Delaware Gov. John Carney (D) announced Monday that the state's mask mandates for indoor public settings and schools will end over the next two months.

Driving the news: The mask mandate for indoor settings is set to lift Feb. 11, while masking requirements for K-12 schools and childcare facilities will end on March 31.

  • The governor extended the mask mandate for schools until the end of March, giving parents time to get their children vaccinated, Carney's office said.
  • The timeline will also allow school districts and schools time to consider local mandates.

What they're saying: "We’re in a much better place than we were several weeks ago in the middle of the Omicron surge of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations," Carney said.

  • “I want to be clear about this point – COVID is still circulating in our communities. And the virus still poses a risk of serious illness, particularly among those who are not up to date on their vaccinations. But we have the tools to keep ourselves and each other safe."

Between the lines: The state has "one of the lowest" vaccination rates for children in the Northeast, Delaware Online reported.

The big picture: Several other states have lifted or made changes to their mask mandates in recent weeks.

  • New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) is expected to announce Monday an end to the state's mask mandate for schools.
  • Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin's (R) issued an executive order ending the state's school mask mandate, though the order is now being challenged in court by at least seven school boards, Axios' Jacob Knutson writes.
  • Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) rescinded the state's mask mandate last month, allowing school districts to set their masking policies.
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