Delaware Gov. John Carney issued a stay-at-home advisory on Thursday, recommending that people in the state avoid gathering with anyone outside their household to slow the spread of COVID-19. The advisory is in effect from Dec. 14 through Jan. 11. It doesn’t apply to people in workplaces or commuting to and from work. At the same time, Carney recommended that schools take an “extended winter break to reset,” moving to remote learning from Dec. 14 through Jan. 8, then returning to previous hybrid in-person classes. Read on for his full warning, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had Coronavirus.
“This virus is scary,” said the Governor
“This virus is scary,” said Carney in a statement. “And dealing with it every day for nine months has been emotionally fatiguing. Educators didn’t sign up to be on the front lines of a global pandemic. And I know this has certainly been a lot to bear for them.”
He had a message for parents. “We need your help. Our teachers are keeping your children safe in school. We need you to keep them safe outside of school. That means avoid indoor playdates. Avoid sleepovers. Avoid birthday parties outside your family. Avoid carpooling without masks.”
He added: “I’m asking you to hold on just a little bit longer. A vaccine is coming, and it’s coming soon. Educators will be among the first to receive the vaccine. And God willing, we will bend the curve of this virus once and for all.”
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Universal mask order also issued
At the same time as the stay-at-home advisory and school recommendations, Carney issued a statewide universal indoor mask mandate through Jan. 11.
Delaware has been under a public mask mandate since Apr. 28, requiring people in the state to wear a cloth mask in public in settings where social distancing is not possible.
The new indoor mask mandate requires Delaware residents to wear a mask whenever they’re indoors with someone who lives outside their immediate household. It doesn’t apply to children younger than age 2.
On Thursday, like many states, Delaware set records for COVID-19 cases. It reported a single-day high of new positive cases (754) and a seven-day average of 556, a high since the pandemic began.
In recent days, top health officials have urged Americans to be consistent about wearing face masks. In a Wednesday interview, CDC director Dr. Robert Redfield cited a Kansas study which found that counties with mask mandates saw a six percent decline in COVID-19 cases, while counties that didn’t require face masks had a 100 percent increase.
Redfield also noted that small, home-based gatherings had become a prime driver of COVID-19 transmission. “This virus really is going to require all of us to really be vigilant about wearing a mask, and unfortunately not just when we’re in the public square,” he said.
On Thursday, President-Elect Joe Biden said he would call for all Americans to wear masks during the first 100 days of his administration.
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How to stay alive during the pandemic
As for yourself, do everything you can to prevent getting—and spreading—COVID-19 in the first place: Wear a face mask, get tested if you think you have coronavirus, avoid crowds (and bars, and house parties), practice social distancing, only run essential errands, wash your hands regularly, disinfect frequently touched surfaces, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don’t miss these 35 Places You’re Most Likely to Catch COVID.