The universal mask mandate expired at 8 a.m.
Governor John Carney said Monday he was rescinding the order he imposed a month ago requiring Delawareans to wear masks in indoor business settings.
"We're in a much better place than we were several weeks ago in the middle of the Omicron surge of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations," Governor Carney said in a statement.
But Carney temporarily extended the mask requirement in public and private K-12 schools and child care facilities to 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, March 31.
We are lifting DE's statewide mask mandate for indoor public settings at 8am on Friday, Feb 11.— Governor John Carney (@JohnCarneyDE) February 7, 2022
The mask requirement in K-12 public & private schools and child care facilities expires at 11:59pm on Thursday, March 31.
We’re in a much better place than we were several weeks ago. pic.twitter.com/rofUXN2hzW
Administration officials say the temporary extension will give parents time to get their children vaccinated before the expiration of the mask requirement.
It will also allow local school administrators and school boards to consider their own mask requirements.
"I want to be clear about this point - COVID is still circulating in our communities. And the virus still poses a risk of serious illness, particularly among those who are not up to date on their vaccinations," Carney said. "But we have the tools to keep ourselves and each other safe. Get vaccinated. Get your booster. That's especially important for children, where we continue to see low rates of vaccination. For all the parents out there - the best way to keep your child in school learning, and to prevent them from getting sick, is to get them vaccinated. It's that simple. I want to thank all Delawareans for taking this threat seriously."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.