In a letter to school leaders, educators and parents Jan. 5, Gov. John Carney, the Delaware Division of Public Health and the Delaware Department of Education urged Delaware schools to return to hybrid instruction Monday, Jan. 11.
The letter advocates schools returning to a mix of remote and in-person learning, and prioritizing younger and more vulnerable students for in-person learning if operational challenges continue.
“As we have said many times, we do not believe there is a public health reason to close schools,” said the letter signed by Carney, Secretary of Education Susan Bunting and Dr. Karyl Rattay, Division of Public Health director. “We have spent the past four weeks helping schools try to address the operational challenges they are experiencing. And we can all agree that students learn best when they're in school. For all of these reasons, we are recommending that districts and schools make every effort to return to hybrid learning on Jan. 11.”
Also on Jan. 5, DPH launched a new, schools-focused COVID-19 dashboard. The dashboard will track the number of contagious cases among staff and students of Delaware schools, and offer a more detailed picture of COVID-19 infection in school buildings.
“It’s a testament to the hard work of students, educators and staff that the number of COVID-positive students and staff is so low,” the letter reads. “Moreover, data from our epidemiologists shows that the vast majority of cases affecting students and staff originated outside of the school building. The few cases thought to result from in-school spread are frequently observed to be in settings where mask-wearing was not consistently practiced.”