Are Vaccine Mandates Coming to Delaware?

Gov. John Carney Announces Delaware Vaccine Mandates

Like many states in the US, Delaware continues to grapple with COVID-19 cases and deaths. This prompted Gov. John Carney to impose Delaware vaccine mandates to ensure that all state employees got inoculated or regularly tested for the virus. The order was issued to combat the rising positive tests of the Delta variant, but it also means that non-compliant state workers could lose their jobs. The mandate has had a positive reception from ChristianCare and Delaware Health Association, but healthcare workers view it unfair as it denies them their personal freedom. It also means termination from duty for those who don’t comply.

Understanding the Delaware COVID-19 Situation

Although Delaware has managed to contain COVID-19 transmissions, the Northeastern state continues to record new cases. According to the Delaware Department of Public Health (DPH), the state has recorded a total of 118,544 positive cases of coronavirus since March 11, 2020, with 1,875 fatalities. The report, issued on August 26, 2021, further revealed that the seven-day average in positive Delaware COVID cases reduced by 0.2% from the previous week.

The DPH also reported positive tests of COVID-19 variant strains, including Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Delta. Delta was the most prevalent variant, accounting for 97% of the total positive tests for variant strains.

The state has managed to vaccinate over 70% of the population, which compelled the state administration to lift most Delaware COVID restrictions. However, those who’ve not been vaccinated are mandated to wear face masks in public areas.

More on Delaware COVID statistics available here.

Evidence of Vaccination Mandates Affecting Delaware

Delawareans received the first doses of COVID-19 vaccines in early December 2020. Front-line healthcare workers were the first to get vaccinated while the general public began receiving vaccines in March.

Delaware Gov. John Carney issued vaccine mandates on August 21 to stop further spread of the Delta variant. According to the Delaware vaccine mandates, all the 14,000 state workers, including healthcare professionals, must get vaccinated for coronavirus by September 30, 2021, or undergo regular testing.

Gov. Carney also specified that any state employee who will not get vaccinated by September 21 would lose their job unless exempted due to medical or religious reasons. The order came after the DPH recorded a daily average of 198 new cases over the previous week. Ninety-nine percent of the cases occurred among the unvaccinated.

Learn more about Delaware vaccine orders here.

The Implications of Vaccine Mandates in Delaware

The Delaware vaccine mandates have elicited mixed reactions from state administrators, healthcare workers, and the general public.

Dr. Ken Silverstein, the chief physician executive of ChristianCare, supported vaccine mandates, saying that scientists proved the vaccine’s effectiveness in saving lives by facts. He also acknowledged that the surging COVID-19 cases occur among the unvaccinated. Therefore, adhering to the Delaware vaccine mandates is the only way to protect each other from the deadly virus.

On the other hand, the vaccine mandate denies public workers the right to personally decide whether or not to get inoculated. They believe the vaccination process is an experiment and that the state administration and news media did not reveal the side effects among patients.

Furthermore, state employees who don’t comply with the order may end up losing their jobs. Many healthcare workers feel unfairly treated, considering they were the front-liners in caring for COVID-19 patients in 2020, and now they’ll be terminated from work for not getting vaccinated.

Gather more insights into the implications of vaccine mandates in Delaware here.

Conclusion

Delaware issued vaccine mandates to prevent COVID-19 spread. Healthcare administrators support the order, but healthcare workers say it suppresses their personal freedom to decide for themselves. It’s a stalemate for the state workers, who, at the moment, have no choice but to adhere to the mandates.

Coastal Network

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