Conversations continue on how and when to end Delaware's COVID emergency order
It’s still not quite clear when Gov. John Carney intends to end the state’s COVID-19 State of Emergency Declaration.
COVID restrictions were largely diminished in Delaware over the past few weeks, but the governor’s public health emergency declaration is still in effect.
It allows special powers to the Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA) and the state Division of Public Health (DPH). The agencies can shut down events, force people into quarantine and conduct inspections on businesses.
Carney says there is a conversation between the state Attorney General’s Office and the agencies involved on when to end the order, and how to keep certain aspects of the order in place.
“For instance: mask wearing in state buildings, mask wearing among children in schools, etc. There’s some issues around healthcare workforce that have required emergency powers—some of which we are pursuing legislatively,” said Carney Tuesday.
The order also offers continued protections against foreclosures, evictions and utility shut offs.
Meanwhile, the state is experiencing near-low levels of coronavirus spread. There are 33 COVID hospitalizations statewide and the average number of new cases per day is hovering just over 40.
And Delaware is continuing to push the COVID vaccine with the goal of reaching a 70 percent inoculation rate by July 4th. So far, about 61 percent of Delawareans 16 and older have received at least one shot.
The state continues to see a lower vaccination rate among young adults. About 39 percent of those between the ages of 18 to 34 have been vaccinated. That percentage increases as you increase age groups with 91 percent of Delaware seniors fully vaccinated. The only group with a lower percentage is the younger 12 to 17 group with 32 percent.
But as State Public Health Director Dr. Karyl Rattay notes, teens haven’t been eligible for as long as young adults.
“We are going to continue to be focused on this young adult population that likely is the most hesitant,” said Rattay. “In fact, it looks like our teenagers may surpass our young adults in the not too distant future as far as vaccine rates.”
Rattay adds that means taking a “getting to the places where they are” approach to vaccinating young adults.