DE Coronavirus Numbers Continue to Fall Ahead of Friday’s Masking & Capacity Changes
Delaware’s coronavirus numbers have been falling and on Friday the mask mandate will go away for anyone who is fully vaccinated. And the capacity will raise to 100% both inside and out. For anyone who is NOT fully vaccinated – they should continue to wear a face mask when around people they don’t live with. For those who are fully vaccinated – don’t burn your face coverings just yet. Businesses have the option to require masks be worn or not – regardless of your vaccination status. Delaware will not go the way of a vaccine passport nor would anyone need to verify your status – but if a business asks you to mask up – then you should.
There are some areas that will still require a mask – including state-owned buildings and facilities, public transportation, schools, healthcare facilities and places like prisons and homeless shelters. Governor John Carney urges anyone 12 and older to get vaccinated to protect themselves from infection and serious illness.
Several weeks ago, there were 26 areas of interest throughout Delaware where there was more coronavirus than other. Both last week and this week – there is just one area of interest. Last week it was the Frankford area – but this week – it’s moved upstate to Delaware City. And while the vaccination rates increase – to a statewide average of over 45% who are fully vaccinated, and the number of positive tests decrease – Sussex County still holds a 5.2% positivity rate compared to rates of 3% in Kent County, 3.4% in New Castle – and the state rate is at 3.7%. DPH Director, Dr Karyl Rattay believes the higher number in Sussex County is due to fewer people testing for the virus.
There are two variants of the coronavirus that continue to show up in samples – the UK variant and one of the three New York variants. Public Health does not test every sample – just a sampling of them. However officials continue to tell us that the vaccines are all effective against the virus – and the variants. Dr. Rattay also said during this week’s update that there is currently no call that a booster shot will be needed. However, that could change as the science around the virus and the vaccines evolve.
Public Health officials have been working to help get vaccine to those who are homebound due to a medical condition. Staff have contacted persons listed in Kent and Sussex Counties and have either vaccinated or left messages for them. Those who are homebound and still in need of a vaccination should contact the Division of Public Health at 1-833-643-1715.
Last week was the first week that 12 to 15 year olds could get the Pfizer vaccine, the only one that has been approved for anyone under the age of 18. Statewide just over 2000 children aged 12 to 15 have been vaccinated since last week’s announcement. Dr. Rattay says that the studies of the Pfizer vaccine among the 12 to 15 year old age group were found to be 100% effective with minimal side effects. Officials have also learned that the coronavirus vaccine can be given at the same time as other vaccines needed by children.
If you go to My Healthy Community – you’ll find additional and new vaccine information – including for the younger age groups. There is information for all of Delaware as well as by county for both the vaccines and the overall coronavirus information that is available.