Delaware took sweeping action on the coronavirus Thursday, expanding its mask mandate, urging residents to stay home and urging schools to pause in-person learning this month.
In a news release, Gov. John Carney announced the new stay-at-home advisory which strongly advises residents to avoid gathering with anyone from outside their household between Dec. 14 and Jan. 11 "to interrupt the dangerous winter surge of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in Delaware."
The advisory doesn't apply to people who need to leave home to work.
The mask mandate has been expanded and now requires residents to wear a face covering anytime they are indoors with someone outside their immediate household.
That goes further than the previous rules which asked residents to weat a face covering when in public and social distancing is not possible.
Carney also recommended schools stop in-person learning between Dec. 14 and Jan. 11, in effect giving a long winter break. Carney wrote a letter detailing the latest on schools here.
Schools have a choice to follow the rule and the final decisions for each district will be made locally. Child care centers are not affected by the recommendation.
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Carney's office says schools "that do not face significant operational challenges may remain in hybrid learning, with a mix of remote and in-person instruction."
“We know that schools are structured and relatively safe environments. That's thanks to the hard work of educators, students and staff who have been following the science, and keeping their communities healthy,” Carney said in a statement. “But school leaders and educators face significant operational challenges as we see more community spread. If we pull together and follow the public health advice, we can get more children in classrooms, and get through this difficult winter.”