Delaware Technical Community College has lifted its vaccine requirement, issuing a statement Tuesday afternoon that the institution will be removing “all masking, testing, and vaccine requirements for our employees and students, effective March 2.”
The announcement comes after months outcry from concerned students, parents, and staff at the college. On Feb. 7, our Rob Petree questioned the college’s President, Dr. Mark Brainard about the policy and possibility of unvaccinated students being turned which he defended.
“As we have done from the beginning of the pandemic, we continue to make operational decisions based on COVID data and in compliance with Governor Carney’s directives and CDC guidelines,” the college stated in a press release. “In light of the Governor’s announcement yesterday, the recent updated CDC guidelines, and a significant decline in regional COVID rates, Delaware Tech will also remove all masking, testing, and vaccine requirements for our employees and students effective March 2. The most recent directives regarding self-screening, isolation, and quarantine remain in effect until further notice.”
College officials emphasized that even though they’re no longer requiring vaccinations for the general student population, a vaccination may be required by assigned clinical placement settings for nursing and allied health students into the future.
The decision by Dr. Brainard comes on the heels of a protest held right outside his office last week where several parents, students, and concerned citizens gathered to plead with the college to reverse its course and revise the policy. We heard stories for weeks from students and parents who were terrified that the policy would result in them losing their education.
“As we have said through the course of these past two years, every decision we have made has been in the best interest of our students, employees, and the entire College community,” the college stated. “Although no longer required, vaccines, masks, and distancing remain effective health strategies to combat the spread of the virus in the months ahead. We will continue to monitor health data and state and federal guidelines to manage the pandemic moving forward, always keeping the health and safety of our College community as our top priority.”
The change in course on the policy comes just a day after Governor Carney announced the State of Emergency would end.