Several Del. school districts moving to all virtual learning amid stay-at-home advisory

Delaware COVID-19 live updates, news and information

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Friday, December 4, 2020
Several Del. school districts moving to all virtual learning
Several Delaware school districts are transitioning to all virtual learning to fall within new recommendations from the state.

WILMINGTON, Delaware (WPVI) -- Several Delaware school districts are transitioning to all virtual learning to fall within new recommendations from the state as COVID-19 infections reach a record high.

Gov. John Carney released recommendations Thursday advising districts to transition to only remote learning starting Dec. 14th until Jan. 11th.

Delaware Governor John Carney announced a new stay-at-home advisory on Thursday, urging all residents to avoid gathering indoors with anyone outside their household to combat the rising COVID-19 cases.

"It's an exercise of patience," said parent Enrique Moras.

The decision to make changes is up to each district and some, including the Brandywine and Colonial School District, are pausing in-person learning a week early beginning on the December 7.

"You have to respect that they're trying to be as safe as possible," said Moras.

Brandywine officials wrote to parents stating that transmission rates are low in schools, but it's difficult to stay up and running when infections are surging within the community.

Superintendent Lincoln Hohler wrote in the letter to parents:

"By closing our buildings effective December 7, we are doing our part to help slow the community spread, which will hopefully lead to our ability to safely reopen schools on January 11 when the Governor's current recommendation expires. We understand the impact this has on many of our BSD families, and we do not take the decision lightly."

"I'm OK with it," said parent Siara Slydell. "It's a new experience for everybody. We're all trying to get the hang of it, how we want to proceed and basically keep the kids safe."

Colonial School District Superintendent wrote in a letter:

"In the coming weeks, we will be reviewing plans for returning to in-person instruction on January 11, 2021 and will share decisions as soon as possible.

COVID-19 has required all school administrators across the state to pivot on plans without much notice. We hope families understand that the top priority is the safety and welfare of students and staff."

Employees at the Bellevue Community Center are expecting a lot of phone calls. The center has been providing a safe place for elementary students to take virtual classes.

"Parents still need to work and have a living to make," said Dr. Tennell Brown, Director of Education of Bellevue Community Center

Staff members suggest having a solid plan in place as families adjust at home.

"It was tough transition for everybody, but once you get into the swing of things, it becomes a lot easier," Brown said.

Gov. Carney is asking for patience.

"A vaccine is on the way but, make no mistake, we are facing the most difficult few months of this crisis," Gov. Carney said. "I know we're all tired of COVID-19 - but it's not tired of us. We're pleading with Delawareans to do the right thing. Wear a mask. It's a simple sacrifice to protect others, and to make sure that Delaware's children get an education. Do not gather with anyone outside your household. Wash or sanitize your hands frequently."

"We know that schools are structured and relatively safe environments. That's thanks to the hard work of educators, students and staff who have been following the science, and keeping their communities healthy. But school leaders and educators face significant operational challenges as we see more community spread. If we pull together and follow the public health advice, we can get more children in classrooms, and get through this difficult winter."


Delaware governor expresses concerns over rising COVID-19 hospitalizations

Delaware Governor John Carney expressed concerns Tuesday about the rising number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in the state. Nearly 250 residents are currently in the hospital with coronavirus, and that number is growing.

Hospital leaders have told the governor that they are confident they can manage the surge. Still, officials are reminding everyone to adhere to COVID-19 mitigation guidelines.

Delaware hospital to play leading role in COVID-19 vaccine distribution

Health care workers and nursing home residents should be at the front of the line when the first coronavirus vaccine shots become available, an influential government advisory panel said Tuesday.

A Delaware hospital will play a leading role in administering the vaccine to the region.

Ten freezers just arrived at ChristianaCare in Newark this week and will be able to house the coronavirus vaccine in temperatures as low as -94 degrees.

Hardware store closing

After 37 years in business, a locally-owned hardware store can't survive any longer. New Castle - Do It Best - Hardware Store in Delaware is getting ready to close for good.

Owner Jim Smyth says it's been getting more and more difficult to keep up with big-box stores and online retailers.

Right now, all merchandise is 50% off while supplies last. The store will close by the end of the year.

Delaware issues new restrictions on gatherings, dining, and youth sports; most take effect on Monday

Delaware Governor John Carney announced Tuesday additional restrictions for indoor and outdoor gatherings, indoor dining, and youth sports to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the state.

New COVID-19 testing site to open at Delaware State University in New Castle County

A $5 million COVID-19 testing lab will soon be up and running at Delaware State University's Kirkwood Highway Campus in New Castle County as cases across the country soar.


Moderna asking US, European regulators to OK its virus shots

Moderna Inc. said it would ask U.S. and European regulators Monday to allow emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine as new study results confirm the shots offer strong protection - ramping up the race to begin limited vaccinations as the coronavirus rampage worsens.

Health experts suggest decreased activity, COVID test after holiday travel

The nation's top health officials are warning that recent travelers are at an increased risk of possibly spreading COVID-19 after the Thanksgiving holiday.

Fauci: Expect similar COVID travel restrictions, advisories for Christmas holiday

Americans should expect more COVID-related restrictions and advisories for the Christmas holiday, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government's top infectious disease expert.

COVID-19 vaccine distribution: United Airlines has started shipping coronavirus shot, source says

United Airlines has begun shipping the first batches of the COVID-19 vaccine on charter flights, a source told ABC News.


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*The Associated Press contributed to this report*