WILMINGTON, Del. (CBS) – Parents in Delaware are adjusting to new state guidance about masks and children. CBS3’s Jan Carabeo explains what’s new and what health experts say you should know.
An about face in Delaware when it comes to young kids and face masks. The governor and state health officials now say all children in Kindergarten or older must wear a face covering public, including at school.
“One of the, if not the most important, way to prevent the spread of COVID is through face coverings,” Delaware Director of Public Health Dr. Karyl Rattay said.
State leaders adjusted their mask requirements in light of recommendations by the American Academy of Pediatrics and as Delaware families consider a safe return to school.
“Knowing that a number of kids are going face-to-face back to school very soon, some have already, we felt it was pertinent to really help protect all kids and all teachers in these settings,” Rattay said.
Kids ages 2 to 4 are not required to wear masks but state health officials are strongly encouraging it.
“The young may be less likely to spread infection, but we don’t know that with certainty yet. We don’t know that they don’t spread it,” Rattay said. “Face coverings can really make a huge difference.”
Those younger than 2 and children with medical conditions are exempt.
Earlier this month, the governor gave the go-ahead for Delaware schools to reopen using a hybrid model, involving a mix of in-person and remote instruction.
And if your child may be heading back inside the classroom soon, pediatricians say now is the time to get them used to wearing a mask all day and wearing it properly.
“Fitting it around the nose, making sure it’s underneath your chin,” Happy and Healthy Pediatrics Dr. Elissa Rubin said. “Make sure that they’re not touching the front of the mask at any point. Once they take the mask off, the mask to be taken off by the earpieces.”
A lesson before returning to class with peers in order to do so confidently and safely.