The state of Delaware will rely on the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention following its announcement that vaccinated teachers and students need not wear masks indoors, officials said Friday.
“Getting Delaware students back into school full time this fall is the governor’s priority,” said Jonathan Starkey, a spokesman for Gov. John Carney. “The governor’s team and the Division of Public Health have worked closely with school leaders over the past year to get students and staff safely back into classrooms. We’ll rely on this CDC guidance as we help schools and districts plan for a full return to school in the fall.”
Mr. Starkey did not answer how officials plan to enforce the recommendations.
The state has already said it does not intend to require vaccinations for students, as many districts statewide expressed intentions to operate in a full, in-person setting when classes begin for the 2021-22 year.
In late June, authorities were unsure of what restrictions may be imposed for schools when the academic year begins. For summer programming, students and staff must maintain a minimum of 3 feet apart with face coverings, including when seated at desks or standing in classrooms, in accordance with guidance from DPH.
However, educators and staff in schools and child care centers are not required to wear masks when children are not present, per a modification to the state’s emergency order. Students and staff also are not required to wear masks outdoors.
The state of emergency will lift entirely July 13.
Gov. Carney previously said the state will wait for guidance from the CDC before creating its regulations for a return to in-person learning.
Vaccinations for educators began in January, with the Delaware Department of Education rolling out a phased schedule.
As the state opened up eligibility, and the Pfizer vaccine was approved for children at least 12 years old, districts began hosting vaccination clinics for students.
Approximately 36 district-led vaccination clinics have been held so far, with about 4,300 people vaccinated (consisting of students, educators, families and community members.)