Delaware School Mask Requirement to End ​at 6:00 P.M. on Tuesday, March 1

State of Emergency will terminate at ​6:00 p.m. Tuesday; Delaware school masking announcement is consistent with new CDC guidance; Vaccine or testing requirements set to end today

WILMINGTON, Del. — Governor John Carney on Monday announced that he will sign an order terminating the COVID-19 State of Emergency and the masking requirement in public and private K-12 schools and child care facilities effective at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 1.  

The announcement is consistent with new masking guidance issued on Friday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

Masking will not be required by the State of Delaware in K-12 schools, on school buses, or in child care facilities after 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 1. 

The Delaware Department of Education (DOE) and the Division of Public Health (DPH) have issued updated guidance to district and school leaders to aid response efforts following the expiration of the mask requirement. 

Governor Carney also announced that vaccine or testing requirements for educators and state employees will expire at 11:59 p.m. today, Monday, February 28. 

The mask requirement in most State facilities will also be lifted starting on Wednesday, March 2. Additional guidance for state employees will be issued on Monday by the Department of Human Resources (DHR). ​

“There are a lot of reasons to be optimistic about where we’re headed,” said Governor Carney. “Over the last month, COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations have fallen dramatically, and we are clearly moving into a new phase of this pandemic. Today’s announcement is consistent with new guidance from the CDC. And it’s consistent with the latest thinking from Delaware’s experts at the Division of Public Health. Delawareans who want to continue wearing a mask – including children in our schools – should be supported and encouraged to do so, even as we move into this new phase. We’ll also continue to encourage all eligible Delawareans to get up to date on their COVID-19 vaccinations.” 

On Tuesday, the State of Emergency will be lifted. At the same time, a more narrow Public Health Emergency Order will be issued to replace a Public Health Emergency Order issued on July 12, 2021. This updated Public Health Emergency Order will allow hospitals and long-term care facilities continued flexibility to respond to cases of COVID-19.

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Governor Carney Announces Expiration of Universal Indoor Mask Mandate on February 11

Governor also announces school mask requirement will end on March 31

WILMINGTON, Del. –  Governor John Carney on Monday signed a revision to the State of Emergency order, lifting Delaware’s universal indoor mask mandate effective at 8:00 a.m. on Friday, February 11.

Also in Monday’s modification, Governor Carney temporarily extended the mask requirement in public and private K-12 schools and child care facilities. That requirement, which applies to children kindergarten-age and older, will expire at 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, March 31.

The temporary extension gives parents time ​to get their school-age children vaccinated before the expiration of the statewide requirement.

The March 31 date also allows districts and schools time to consider local mask requirements, and gives the Division of Public Health (DPH) and the Department of Education (DOE) time to work with schools on updates to quarantine and contact tracing guidance.

Click here to read Monday’s revision.

Click here to read the full State of Emergency.

“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,” said Governor Carney. “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. Get vaccinated. Get your booster. That’s especially important for children, where we continue to see low rates of vaccination. For all the parents out there – the best way to keep your child in school learning, and to prevent them from getting sick, is to get them vaccinated. It’s that simple. I want to thank all Delawareans for taking this threat seriously.”

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DPH Community Assessments Underway to Inform Future COVID-19 Response Efforts and Improve Health

DOVER, DE (Jan. 25, 2022) – The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) will conduct a series of community health assessments to better understand the concerns and needs of Delaware communities during the COVID-19 pandemic and to improve the overall health in Delaware in the future. As part of Delaware’s State Health Improvement Plan (SHIP), DPH has partnered with the University of Delaware’s Partnership for Healthy Communities and Epidemiology Program to conduct a survey in each of Delaware’s three counties.

Households who have been randomly selected to participate in the voluntary survey will receive a postcard in the mail followed by a survey packet with instructions on how to complete the survey online or by mail. Incentives will be provided for completed surveys. The first set of survey packets will be mailed to Kent County households this week. In late February, teams of students and community volunteers will canvas Kent County neighborhoods to knock on the doors of those selected households who haven’t completed the survey by mail or online. Similar assessments will occur for New Castle and Sussex counties over the next two months. The dates for survey mailings and canvassing by county are:

Surveying begins:

  • Kent County – week of Jan 24
  • New Castle County – week of Feb. 7
  • Sussex County – week of Feb. 21

Canvassing begins:

  • Kent County – Feb. 25
  • New Castle County – March 11
  • Sussex County – March 25

The SHIP helps to prioritize areas, such as chronic disease, maternal and child health, mental health, and substance use disorder, where more work is needed to make Delawareans healthier.

“Delaware’s current five-year State Health Improvement Plan covers 2018 through 2023 and was initially developed prior to the pandemic,” said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. “Community assessments related to COVID-19 and broader conditions now impacting the health of Delawareans are critical to helping inform the current plan and guide the next state health needs assessment and planning process.”

“We are grateful that our students have the opportunity to gain real-world experience by conducting a Community Assessment for Public Health Emergency Response (CASPER), in Delaware for the first time,” said Dr. Jennifer Horney, founding director of the Epidemiology Program at University of Delaware. “It is important that these students, who are the State’s future public health workforce, embrace working directly with residents and communities to collect data that can be used for decision-making by public health leaders and emergency managers.”

In addition to community assessments being conducted at the household level to assess COVID-19 mitigation efforts, perceptions of risk, and preventative actions taken by Delaware households, two series of Community Conversations are also being planned to learn more about broader health impacts on communities. 

“These community conversations are being planned at a time when the federal government is making unprecedented investments in state, territorial, Tribal, and local governments” said Rita Landgraf, director of the Partnership for Healthy Communities at University of Delaware. “Never have communities had access to direct, flexible dollars at this scale. Not only can these resources assist with recovery from the pandemic, but they can also support communities in creating more equitable conditions for health and renewal. Working in collaboration with local partners across the state, we believe that it is possible to engage communities in dialogues that amplify their voices, increase equity, and inform community investments differently.”

The purpose of the Delaware State Health Improvement Plan is to describe how the Division of Public Health and the community it serves will work together to improve the health of Delaware’s population. The SHIP helps to prioritize areas, such as chronic disease, maternal and child health, mental health, and substance use disorder, where more work is needed to make Delawareans healthier. The National Public Health Accreditation Board explains, “Communities, stakeholders, and partners can use the SHIP to set priorities, direct the use of resources, and develop and implement projects, programs, and policies.” Effective state health improvement plans also continuously incorporate new information or data into the state health needs assessment and make updates as needed.

To learn more about Delaware’s State Health Improvement Plan, visit www.DelawareSHIP.org

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Anyone who is deaf, hard of hearing, Deaf-Blind or speech disabled can contact DPH by dialing 711 first using specialized devices (i.e., TTY, TeleBraille, voice devices). The 711 service is free and to learn more about how it works, please visit delawarerelay.com.

The Delaware Department of Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware’s citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.


Governor Carney Announces Distribution of 125,000 KN95 Masks to Educators and Students

Masks to be distributed starting next week

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney, Lt. Governor Hall-Long and the Delaware Department of Education on Tuesday announced a one-time distribution of 125,000 KN95 masks to educators, students grades six and above, and childcare providers across the state. Masks will be distributed to Delaware’s public, private, and parochial schools and childcare providers through school and childcare liaisons.

“There is nothing more important than making sure our children can remain learning in the classrooms,” said Governor Carney. “We have learned the importance of multi-layer masks and masks that fit snugly on your face. We hope that this mask distribution will help students and educators continue to slow the surge of COVID-19 as they have throughout the pandemic. Parents, families and teachers should expect more guidance from their schools about when they can pick-up their masks.”  

Districts, charter schools, private schools, and child care facilities will receive KN95 masks from the state to support their in-person instruction efforts. Schools and child care facilities will make the KN95 masks available to staff members as needed or requested. This effort will add to the many mitigation strategies districts, schools, and child care providers have implemented to create safer learning environments, decrease the number of quarantines and offer as many days of in-person instruction as possible. The masks will be distributed based on the number of staff across all schools and number of students in sixth grade and up due to the size of the masks.

Child care providers will need to pre-register through a link that will be sent from the Delaware Department of Education. If you do not receive the email with the registration link by the close of business on Wednesday, January 19, you can email mask.distribution@doe.k12.de.us to be assisted with the registration.

 “Our school and child care leaders are working hard to keep our buildings open for in-person learning through operational challenges caused by the current COVID-19 surge,” said Dr. Mark Holodick, Secretary of the Delaware Department of Education. “This is another support to help them do that, and I appreciate the state prioritizing these masks for our children, educators, school staff and childcare workers.”

This announcement comes days after Governor Carney signed a universal indoor mask mandate and extended the school mask requirement.

“The science remains clear that face masks and respirators are effective at reducing transmission of COVID-19, when worn consistently and correctly. We want to arm our schools with the highest quality masks possible to continue to allow students to remain in school and continue in-person learning. We appreciate all that schools and child cares have done to support mask use since the beginning of the school year,” said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay.

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Governor Carney Releases Second Revision to COVID-19 Emergency Order

Revision allows Division of Public Health (DPH) to approve alternatives to the mask mandate for professional and NCAA athletes

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney on Friday signed a revision to the COVID-19 emergency order, allowing the Division of Public Health (DPH) to approve alternative mitigation measures in place of the mask mandate for professional and NCAA athletes.

COVID-19 mitigation plans, including the alternative mitigation measures, must be submitted to hspcontact@delaware.gov. Fans, staff, and other attendees of indoor sporting events must still comply with the public mask requirement to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

Click here to read Governor Carney’s full State of Emergency Declaration. 

“This revision will allow competitions to move forward with a potential mask exemption only for professional and NCAA athletes,” said Governor Carney. “These organizations already have their own safety plans, which this revision recognizes. DPH will work closely with them to ensure they are protecting athletes and helping prevent the spread of this virus.” 

Businesses can download mask requirement signs at de.gov/bizsigns

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