Gov. Carney, health officials urge schools to resume hybrid learning in Delaware

WILMINGTON, Delaware (WPVI) -- Gov. John Carney and Delaware health officials are urging schools across the state to return to hybrid learning as soon as next week.

In a letter to school leaders, educators and parents on Tuesday, Carney, the Delaware Division of Public Health and the Delaware Department of Education urged schools to return to a mix of remote and in-person learning on Monday, January 11.

The letter also urges schools to prioritize younger and more vulnerable students for in-person learning if operational challenges continue.

"As we have said many times, we do not believe there is a public health reason to close schools," the letter said. "We have spent the past four weeks helping schools try to address the operational challenges they are experiencing. And we can all agree that students learn best when they're in school. For all of these reasons, we are recommending that districts and schools make every effort to return to hybrid learning on January 11."

The DPH launched a new, schools-focused COVID-19 dashboard that will track the number of contagious cases among staff and students. Officials say it will offer a more detailed picture of COVID-19 infection in school buildings.

"It's a testament to the hard work of students, educators and staff that the number of COVID-positive students and staff is so low," the letter said. "Moreover, data from our epidemiologists shows that the vast majority of cases affecting students and staff originated outside of the school building. The few cases thought to result from in-school spread are frequently observed to be in settings where mask-wearing was not consistently practiced."
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