Gov Carney Signs 29th Modification to Coronavirus State of Emergency; State Employees – Keep Masks Handy!


Governor John Carney on Tuesday signed the 29th modification to the COVID-19 State of Emergency declaration, eliminating social distancing requirements and removing Delaware’s mask mandate effective May 21. Delawareans, visitors, and Delaware businesses should follow social distancing and masking guidance for fully vaccinated individuals issued last week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Unvaccinated Delawareans should continue to wear masks to reduce their risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19.

Governor Carney’s 29th modification takes effect at 8:00 a.m. on Friday, May 21. Click here to read the full modification.

The CDC guidance advises that fully vaccinated people can stop distancing and wearing masks in most places indoors and outdoors, except in certain crowded and congregate settings. Unvaccinated and partially vaccinated individuals should continue to wear masks in public settings and around those who live outside of their household. Governor Carney’s order continues to require mask-wearing on public transit, planes, in schools, health care facilities and congregate settings like prisons and homeless shelters. The order also continues to require mask-wearing in State-owned buildings and facilities, including Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) facilities, Delaware State Service Centers, and the Carvel State Office Building.

Those who are not fully vaccinated, including children not yet eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine, should continue to wear masks when they’re around others outside their immediate household, according to CDC guidance. Any child under 2-years-old must not wear a face covering due to risk of suffocation.

Unvaccinated Delawareans ages 12 and older are urged to get vaccinated as soon as possible to protect themselves from infection and serious illness. Find a vaccination site: de.gov/getmyvaccine.

Click here to review guidance for fully vaccinated individuals from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“Delawareans who are fully vaccinated have significant protection against this virus and can feel comfortable getting back to the things they loved to do before this pandemic,” said Governor Carney. “For our neighbors who aren’t vaccinated, the message is clear. The COVID-19 vaccine is the best protection we have against the virus. Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect you and those you love.”

As of Monday, May 17, Delaware providers had administered 844,384 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. More than 51 percent of all Delawareans have received at least one shot.

Get your vaccine: If you are not vaccinated, find a vaccination location at de.gov/getmyvaccine

Find out more about vaccine opportunities for 12- to 15-year-olds at de.gov/youthvaccine.

Well, Governor Carney is letting the general public remove the mask on Friday – but it seems that as state employees return to work – they are not so fortunate.

WGMD received an email sent from the Department of Human Resources:

With the State’s COVID-19 cases decreasing daily and the number of individuals being vaccinated increasing, the State of Delaware is planning to return the state’s workforce back to onsite locations. Beginning May 24, 2021, the State will begin to phase employees back into the workplace with the goal of having all employees either returned to the workplace or have an approved telecommuting agreement in place no later than September 3, 2021. In order to help provide guidance to employees as we begin to bring employees back into the office, the Department of Human Resources has developed Returning to the Workplace Guidance for Employees. This guidance should be followed by all employees and explains the expectations for public health and safety procedures for our employees.

You may notice that the State’s guidance is more restrictive than the guidance recently issued by the CDC. Protecting employees’ health and safety is of utmost importance so the decision has been made, at this time, to continue to require face coverings for the public and customers coming into our facilities, and for employees when you are away from your workstation or around other individuals. As more Delawareans become vaccinated, we will continue to revisit these guidelines in the hopes that we can loosen the requirements for face coverings.

You can learn more by watching the COVID-19 VACCINE: Get the Facts video in the Delaware Learning Center or more information about the vaccine, please visit coronavirus.delaware.gov where you’ll also find a list of vaccination events and locations.