Gov. Carney is urging schools not already back on a hybrid schedule following the holiday break to return to hybrid instruction on Monday, Jan. 11. Cape Henlopen School District returned to its hybrid system Monday, Jan. 4.
Carney said state officials recognize that some districts may still be experiencing operational challenges, so three models are proposed, with Option 1 as the recommended method to return to hybrid learning, which is a mix of remote and in-person teaching.
Option 1: Return all students to hybrid learning – in-person instruction with social distancing with a remote option for those who want or need it.
Option 2: Shift high schools to fully remote. Return elementary and middle schools to hybrid learning.
Option 3: Shift high schools and middle schools to fully remote and return elementary schools, students with special needs, English learners, low-income students and students with internet connectivity issues to hybrid learning.
“We are working with districts, charters and private and parochial schools to ensure teachers and school personnel are vaccinated as soon as possible,” Carney said. “The process won't happen overnight, and we do not believe waiting until then to return to in-person instruction is advisable. The risk of contacting the virus in school is low compared to the risks students face not being in school.
“In addition to the more robust and engaging instruction that in-person learning allows, may students rely on schools for meals, counseling and social and emotional support.”
Not all doses administered
In Delaware, more than 35,000 doses of the first 50,725 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have not been administered. According to state health officials, more than 11,000 doses are being held by hospitals and the Department of Public Health for required second vaccinations and another 10,000 doses are being reserved by DPH for mass inoculation events being planned.
Fast-food chicken war
During the first nine months of the pandemic, visits to fast-food chains have decreased 23 percent, but not so much at fried chicken chains with a 6 percent decrease, according to TOP Data. Popeyes new chicken sandwich has been a major success and Chick-fil-A sales have increased 23 percent.
That has ignited a nationwide chicken war as big chains such as McDonald's and Shake Shack are getting into the fray with new chicken sandwiches hitting menus early in 2021.
KFC is leading the charge as the most popular chicken chain in 14 states. In Delaware, Popeyes and KFC are the top chicken chains, according to TOP Data.
Burger chains visits are down 15 percent, pizza chains down 23 percent and taco chains down 15 percent nationwide.
Liquor sales up dramatically
It comes as no surprise that liquor sales have increased dramatically during the pandemic, but it is surprising that beer sales are down slightly, according to Ibotta, a leading consumer cash-back application.
Nationwide, spirits and hard liquor sales are up 33 percent and beer sales are down 2 percent.
Wine sales are up 12 percent led by flavored wines (up 73 percent), rose (24 percent), red, (12 percent) and white (9 percent).
Spirits and hard liquor sales are led by liqueurs (up 75 percent), brandy (43 percent), tequila (40 percent), whiskey (39 percent), vodka (26 percent) and gin and rum (14 percent).
Sales of flavored malt beer are up 37 percent and non-alcoholic beer is up 16 percent but imported craft beer sales are down 17 percent.