WILMINGTON, Delaware (WPVI) -- Delaware Governor John Carney will lift the state's indoor mask mandate at the end of the week while a mask requirement for schools will expire at the end of March.
"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.
Carney signed a revision to the State of Emergency order on Monday which will end Delaware's universal indoor mask mandate at 8 a.m. on Friday, February 11.
At the same time, the governor temporarily extended the mask requirement in public and private K-12 schools and child care facilities.
This requirement, which applies to children kindergarten-age and older, will expire at 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, March 31.
Carney says this temporary extension will give parents time to get their school-age children vaccinated before the expiration of the statewide requirement.
According to the governor, the March 31 date also allows districts and schools time to consider local mask requirements and gives the Division of Public Health (DPH) and the Department of Education (DOE) time to work with schools on updates to quarantine and contact tracing guidance.
"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."