Delaware Senate Republicans take issue with Governor’s mask mandate

Legislative Hall
Legislative Hall – Dover, DE

The Delaware State Senate Republican Caucus issued a statement Wednesday morning disagreeing with Governor John Carney’s mask mandate implemented earlier this week, requiring facial coverings in all public indoor spaces statewide.

“We disagree with these measures. We are approaching the two-year anniversary of the first state of emergency’s installment and during these two years, the General Assembly has been left out of the decision-making process,” the statement read. “We feel strongly that the legislature has a responsibility to provide a balance to the executive branch of government, a balance that has not existed during the pandemic.

“We are not against the use of face-coverings, vaccines, or any other preventative measure against COVID-19. What we are against is the government, specifically one of three supposedly equal branches of government, solely dictating how citizens should live their lives. Delawareans should be able to decide what is best for them and their families. It is imperative that the General Assembly be more involved when it comes to decisions like these and we must consider legislation that will enable the legislative branch – the branch that represents the people – to be a true balance to executive power in Delaware.”

Governor John Carney on Monday signed a revision to the State of Emergency declaration, requiring masks in all indoor public settings, including convenience stores, grocery stores, gyms, restaurants, bars, hair salons, malls, and casinos.

“Our hospital systems are facing a crisis-level situation with record numbers of Delawareans seeking emergency care. We need all Delawareans in the fight as we face this winter surge of COVID-19 to make sure our hospitals are not overrun,” said Governor Carney. “I know we’re all exhausted by this pandemic. But at the level of hospitalizations we’re seeing, Delawareans who need emergency care might not be able to get it. That’s just a fact. It’s time for everyone to pitch in and do what works. Wear your mask indoors. Avoid gatherings or expect to get and spread COVID. Get your vaccine and, if eligible, get boosted. That’s how we’ll get through this surge without endangering more lives.”

Governor Carney also announced that the mask requirements in K-12 public and private schools and child care facilities, which had been set to expire in early February, will be extended.

70 additional members of the Delaware National Guard have also been deployed to assist with non-clinical operations inside Delaware hospitals statewide, beginning Tuesday.

In total, more than 300 members of the Delaware National Guard are assisting with COVID-19 response efforts – including support at vaccination and testing locations, help with PPE distribution, and hospital assistance. Roughly 110 members of the Guard – separate from the 70 members deployed on Monday – are training to serve as certified nursing assistants in health care settings statewide to take pressure off hospital systems.

There’s no official word at this time on how long the mask mandate will remain in effect.

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