WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — All teachers and school staff in Delaware will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or undergo weekly testing, Gov. John Carney announced Tuesday.
The requirement announced by Carney, the Division of Public Health and Department of Education will be formally issued by emergency regulation and takes effect Nov. 1. The requirement also applies to contractors and volunteers who work in K-12 public and private schools.
The top priority has been to get all students back in school this fall and the mandate will help minimize disruptions, Carney said in a statement.
“There’s no better way to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and keep all Delaware children in their classrooms, than to get vaccinated,” Carney said. “These vaccines are safe and extremely protective against COVID-19 infection and serious illness. I encourage all Delawareans to get your shot and help us finally put an end to this pandemic.”
The Delaware State Education Association, the state’s largest teacher’s union, supports the decision and urges members to get vaccinated, according to a statement from President Stephanie Ingram. The union’s goal is to keep educators and students in school while protecting their health, Ingram said. Since some have concerns about the vaccine, weekly testing is a “reasonable alternative,” she said.