Delaware still mulling school mask mandate | Delaware First Media
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Delaware still mulling school mask mandate

Aug 6, 2021

With recommendations to wear masks indoors because of the Delta variant of COVID-19 - is a mask mandate for Delaware public schools this fall coming?

Gov. Carney doesn’t have an answer…yet.

 

The state’s position right now is it’s looking into whether a mask mandate in public schools is needed for the upcoming school year and if so, how the state would do that.

Carney says with the State of Emergency expiring last month, his office is checking to see what kind of authority the state has to implement any kind of mandate.

He notes it’s not only a legal issue, but a safety one.

"We need to protect everybody and we know we can do it," said Carney Thursday. "We did it the last year before we had lots of people vaccinated, but we're also not going to be remote there and so we need to do it safely so the question is what kind of authority we have to make those requirements."

But Carney concedes the clock is ticking.

"This being one of our top priorities and we know that the young ones under age 12 are not eligible to be vaccinated, so important consideration there we need to do that and do it quickly and we will because the school districts are deciding how to proceed in their individual areas," said Carney.

New Jersey officially mandated masks in its schools to start the school year Friday.

As for vaccines for students under 12, Div. of Public Health Director Dr. Karyl Rattay says she’s heard approval is possible as early as September, but kids 5-to-11 may have to wait until December to be eligible for vaccination.