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State officials promoting vaccines and boosters with no mandates and fighting misinformation

As COVID numbers rise, state officials want more residents to get vaccinated and if eligible, a booster, but they’re battling misinformation.

Cases and COVID-related hospitalizations are rising, as the holidays and indoor holiday gatherings pick-up.

The state reported 734 new cases Friday with the seven day average for cases at just under 600. It's seven day average for positive tests reached 9.2% while hospitalizations stand above 300 for a fourth straight day at 319.

While those numbers in mind, state officials are encouraging everyone to wear masks in public and get vaccinated or a booster.

As of last week the state reported that 72% of cases, 80% of hospitalizations, and 80% of deaths were among the unvaccinated or partially vaccinated - prompting state officials to emphasize the importance of vaccinations, boosters, and masks.

But Gov. John Carney says don’t expect the state to consider mandates.

"I think we found kind of the best way to do it is try to meet people where they are and give them a little bit of a nudge with that kind of requirement, not a rigid requirement, but one that has some flexibility as opposed to just with a strict mandate," said Carney. "There's a lot of difference of opinion I guess out there on that and other jurisdictions that's the way we're trying to do it here in Delaware."

Rattay says they’re trying to get residents to the right sources to learn about vaccines and boosters.

"We really want to make sure that when people have fears or concerns about the vaccine and the side effects that they go to credible websites or talk to credible health professionals like their primary care physician or specialist to get good information because again there's a lot of misinformation out there that's really swaying people," said Rattay

Over 87 percent of Delawareans 18 and over and over 66 percent of state residents have at least one dose of the vaccination.

Joe brings over 20 years of experience in news and radio to Delaware Public Media and the All Things Considered host position. He joined DPM in November 2019 as a reporter and fill-in ATC host after six years as a reporter and anchor at commercial radio stations in New Castle and Sussex Counties.