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This page offers all of Delaware Public Media's ongoing coverage of the COVID-19 outbreak and how it is affecting the First State. Check here regularly for the latest new and information.

Some states are lifting mask mandates, not Delaware

Sophia Schmidt, Delaware Public Media

Coronavirus spread is decreasing in Delaware, but the message from state officials is still one of caution. 

As the wave of COVID cases continues to ebb across the US and more of the population gets vaccinated, some states are lifting mask mandates and other economic restrictions.

Gov. John Carney calls this decision ill-informed, and says it may reverse some of the gains made in slowing the spread of the virus.

“It’s certainly not consistent with the guidance from the public health experts, the CDC, the NIH,” said Carney. “We’ve, kind of, taken the lead from them from the beginning and we’ll continue to do so.”   

And state Public Health Director Dr. Karyl Rattay warns against mutations of the virus.

“We are seeing decreases or improvements in our numbers which is great, but we also are seeing some variants in our populations. We know that these variants—both the UK variant and the South African variant—are more contagious,” said Rattay.       

The latest CDC guidance says it is safe for people who have been vaccinated to gather privately together without masks or social distancing. And Rattay says Delaware is adopting this guidance as well.

“That might be a group of four or six friends who might want to play cards, or, you know, have some sort of special gathering like that. If everyone is fully vaccinated, that’s fine,” she said.     

Coronavirus metrics for community spread are the lowest in Delaware since the fall, and about 10% of the state’s population has been vaccinated so far.

It’s been almost a year since restrictions related to the virus were first enforced in Delaware.

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