Delaware Gov. John Carney is studying this week’s Centers for Disease Control recommendation that everyone wear masks indoors in areas where the Delta variant of COVID is spreading.
But he has announced no changes or updates.
In Delaware, the number of new COVID-19 infections has jumped to 72 new cases a day now from 20 a day in late June. The percentage of all tests that come up positive has tripled to 3%. The Division of Public Health has said that Delta is the dominant strain now.
Public Health and Department of Education both referred calls about changes in mask wearing guidance in public and in schools to Carney’s office.
Delaware State University and the University of Delaware already said they will require students to be vaccinated to return to campus.
DSU changed its face mask policy for fall semester Monday, saying students will need to wear them in class, but the school always meant to encourage that, a spokesman said.
UD has not updated any fall semester plans, a spokeswoman said.
The CDC’s announcement came in the face of rising numbers of new COVID-19 cases of the Delta variant, first spotted in India, across the country and heavily in unvaccinated states and areas. The variant is sickening and killing younger people. Vaccines have been successful in keeping people from getting deadly ill, although some vaccinated people have been infected by the Delta variant.
In Delaware, no announcement is expected today.
“We’re reviewing updates to the CDC guidance, and will provide any updates as necessary,” said Jon Starkey, spokesman for Carney.
“The governor and his Public Health team will continue to encourage all eligible Delawareans to get the vaccine. That’s the best way to reduce the spread of COVID-19, and to protect yourself and those around you from infection and serious illness.
“That’s especially true with the more contagious Delta variant circulating in Delaware.”
Delaware State University is currently reviewing their COVID-19 campus policy and may release an update Thursday morning.
“As it stands right now, we are going to require everyone to mask up in the classroom setting when courses resume in the fall semester,” DSU spokesperson Carlos Holmes said.
He did know whether DSU will require masks in other areas of the campus, such as dorms, dining areas or gym facilities.
It is also not known how DSU plans to enforce mask mandates since Carney’s State of Emergency order mandating masks indoors expired on July 13.
A University of Delaware spokeswoman said that the institution has not updated their plans for masking at this time.
Wilmington University and Goldey-Beacom College did not immediately return calls for comment.
On Wednesday, both the U.S. White House and the U.S. Capitol began requiring masks indoors for all. Previously, they had said those vaccinated didn’t have to wear them.
The Capitol Attending Physician Brian Monahan changed its policy because he said people traveled to the building from across the country, and those vaccinated could still be infected and pass the vaccine on to others.
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