As students at both public and private schools return to Delaware classrooms in the next few weeks, they’ll be required to wear masks while indoors, regardless of whether they’ve been vaccinated.
“There’s no higher priority than getting all Delaware children back in their classrooms full-time this fall,” Gov. John Carney said in a news release. “This consistent, statewide approach will help students, educators and staff return to school safely and without disruption.”
Students in all grades will be required to wear the face coverings indoors. Child care centers and homes are strongly encouraged by the governor to require masks for children 2 years old to Kindergarten indoors to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Children younger than age 2 should not wear masks due to a risk of suffocation, the release said.
Staff and visitors are also required to wear masks, Carney said.
The mandate is in line with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that strongly recommended such measures and is designed to ensure all students safely return to classrooms full-time, the governor’s office said in the release.
Schools, according to the governor’s office, are holding vaccination clinics for students ages 12-17 ahead of the opening of the school year.
“Vaccination remains the best way to finally put an end to this pandemic,” Carney said. “These COVID-19 vaccines are free, safe, and highly effective against COVID-19 infection and serious illness.”
Additionally, Carney announced that state employees and visitors to Delaware state facilities must wear masks indoors, consistent with CDC guidance. The mandate applies to all individuals, regardless of their vaccination status.
Carney on Tuesday also formally extended the Public Health Emergency order in place to allow the State of Delaware and medical providers to continue COVID-19 vaccination and testing programs. Under Delaware law, Public Health Emergency declarations must be renewed every 30 days.
This article was originally posted on Delaware students required to mask up for new school year