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Delaware to distribute 125K masks to teachers, students

Katie Tabeling

Gov. Carney has announced the state will distribute 125,000 masks to students and teachers. | PHOTO COURTESY OF UNSPLASHED

WILMINGTON — Gov. John Carney announced Tuesday that the state will provide 125,000 KN95 masks to teachers, child care providers and students sixth grade and up.

Masks will be distributed to Delaware’s public, private, and parochial schools and child care providers through school and child care liaisons. This will be a one-time distribution.

KN95 is the Chinese standard of face mask which filters at least  95 percent of airborne particles it encounters. These masks are also manufactured to form a seal on the wearer’s face.

“There is nothing more important than making sure our children can remain learning in the classrooms,” Carney said in a press statement. “We have learned the importance of multi-layer masks and masks that fit snugly on your face. We hope that this mask distribution will help students and educators continue to slow the surge of COVID-19 as they have throughout the pandemic. Parents, families and teachers should expect more guidance from their schools about when they can pick-up their masks.”  

Districts, charter schools, private schools, and child care facilities will receive KN95 masks from the state to support their in-person instruction efforts. Schools and child care facilities will make the KN95 masks available to staff members as needed or requested. 

Masks will be distributed based on the number of staff across all schools and number of students in sixth grade and up due to the size of the masks.

Child care providers will need to pre-register through a link that will be sent from the Delaware Department of Education. If you do not receive the email with the registration link by the close of business on Jan. 19, email mask.distribution@doe.k12.de.us to be assisted with the registration.

“Our school and child care leaders are working hard to keep our buildings open for in-person learning through operational challenges caused by the current COVID-19 surge,” Department of Education Secretary Mark Holodick said. “This is another support to help them do that, and I appreciate the state prioritizing these masks for our children, educators, school staff and childcare workers.”

This announcement comes days after Carney signed a universal indoor mask mandate and extended the school mask requirement.

“The science remains clear that face masks and respirators are effective at reducing transmission of COVID-19, when worn consistently and correctly,” Division of Public Health Director Dr. Karyl Rattay said. “We want to arm our schools with the highest quality masks possible to continue to allow students to remain in school and continue in-person learning. We appreciate all that schools and child care centers have done to support mask use since the beginning of the school year.”

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