Governor John Carney announced today that Delaware schools will remain closed through the end of the academic year.
In his bi-weekly briefing with reporters today, the governor said the decision to close schools became clear the week, as a growing number of positive cases, particularly downstate, indicated that the spread of COVID-19 is not under control.
The decision also means that in-person activities including sports, proms and graduation ceremonies will not occur as planned.
“One of the things that are clear to us now, as we look at the data, particularly the increased number of cases in Sussex County, is that today we’re making it official that schools will remain closed for students through the end of the school year,” said Carney in a press conference today.
He continued, “We expect that schools and teachers would finish out the last two months as they have been with remote learning. There’s obviously no replacement for in-person instruction in classrooms. But obviously doing what we can between now and what would have been the end of the school year. We encourage our superintendents to start planning for summer learning and instruction and food distribution and preparation for the new school year.”
The Diocese of Wilmington immediately followed Carney’s announcement saying they will also keep all school buildings closed for the remainder of the year. Distance learning will continue for Catholic schools through the last day of classes, June 12.
There are likely implications for private and independent schools, who during the pandemikc have followed the governor’s decisions on school closures thus far.
Projected number of cases and hospitalizations continues to rise
Governor Carney revealed new data showing no signs of the pandemic leveling off. The new report now reveals data through April 30th which projects that 6,416 Delawareans will test positive by that date and 818 might require hospitalization.
The Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA) will not say what Delaware’s existing hospital capacity is, noting that three locations have already been assembled for overflow, non-COVID patients.
“With hospitals expanding their capabilities and creating more patient treatment areas, the number of available rooms is constantly fluctuating,” said Jeff Sands, a spokesperson with DEMA. “I can say that we have not yet reached a point where the alternate care locations would need to be utilized and hospitals have done an excellent job of managing the surge in their facilities.”