Delaware ending state of emergency, mask mandates for schools

The state of emergency and school mask requirement will end at 6 p.m. Tuesday.
DOVER, Delaware (WPVI) -- Democratic Governor John Carney is terminating a state of emergency he declared because of coronavirus and ending mask requirements for Delaware schools.

Vaccine or testing requirements expired for teachers and state employees at 11:59 p.m. Monday.

The mask requirement in most state facilities will be lifted on Wednesday.

Carney announced that with COVID cases and hospitalizations falling dramatically over the last month, the state is moving into a new phase of the pandemic.

"I think it's a little bit too early. I think over the holidays, with the variant, I think it's just too soon. I would probably wait until summer," remarked Suzette Pavia of Claymont.

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Carney said Delawareans who want to continue wearing a mask - including children in our schools - should be supported and encouraged to do so.



Starting 6 p.m. Tuesday, the state will no longer require masking in K-12 schools, on school buses or in child care facilities.

"My daughter's going to continue to wear her mask," said Noreen Sheriff of Claymont.

Sheriff continued, "What's the rush? When the rates start going down, things start going on smoothly, they say take off the masks. No, leave them on. Let it go on for a little bit and see how it works, maybe by the summertime."

At Claymont Elementary School on Tuesday, the sign still flashed outside to not forget your mask.

Some families, like the Wilkins, will opt to still wear them.

"I like kids being safe more because if other kids get sick then I'm afraid that more kids will get sick," said student Bradley Wilkins of Claymont.

"My son, he's been wearing his mask consistently, and thank God he hasn't gotten sick. I think it's really up to the parents and the kids," added T.J. Wilkins.

"There are a lot of reasons to be optimistic about where we're headed," Carney said. "Over the last month, COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations have fallen dramatically, and we are clearly moving into a new phase of this pandemic. Today's announcement is consistent with new guidance from the CDC. And it's consistent with the latest thinking from Delaware's experts at the Division of Public Health."

Carney said Delawareans who want to continue wearing a mask - including children in schools - should be supported and encouraged to do so.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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