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Guidance for Face Coverings


The most recent requirements regarding face coverings can be found in Governor John Carney’s 27th Modification of the Declaration of a State of Emergency in Section H.

 

Requirements

  • Delawareans Kindergarten age and older are required to wear face coverings in indoor and outdoor public settings.
    • Indoor settings include school buildings, daycare settings, and private residences where 10 or more people who do not live together are gathered.
    • Face coverings are required at all times in bars and restaurants except when eating or drinking
    • Face coverings are required during indoor and outdoor exercise unless a person is breathing hard from vigorous physical activity such as running, cycling and tennis. Weight-lifting is not considered vigorous physical activity.
    • Face coverings are required in office buildings (except for personal offices when the person is alone) and meeting rooms except when 6ft of social distance can be maintained.
    • Face coverings are not required outdoors when 6ft of social distance can be maintained.
  • All children who are in kindergarten or older must wear face coverings in public settings, including school buildings, according to the updated DPH guidance.
  • All children 2 years of age and older are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings in public.
  • Children younger than 2 must not wear face coverings due to suffocation risk.
  • A child with a medical condition that makes it hard to breathe or a disability that prevents the child from wearing a face covering is not required to wear one.

 

 

Public Guidance

Review DPH’s Guidance on the Use of Face Coverings (9.16.20)

Important to note:

  • Face coverings are not a replacement for washing hands, physical distancing while performing essential activities, and staying home.
  • Members of the general public should not to use medical or surgical masks like N-95 masks. Medical-grade masks should be reserved for health care workers and first responders.
  • Face coverings with exhalation valves or vents should be avoided.
  • Delaware does not allow face shields as an alternative to face coverings unless an employee, contractor, or volunteer has a documented medical condition that prevents them from wearing a face covering.
  • Delawareans wearing a face covering should practice strict hand washing before and after touching the face covering.
  • If you are sick, wear a cloth face covering over your nose and mouth if you must be around other people – even while at home.
  • If engaged in activities such as singing, or yelling (e.g.: lifeguards, or coaches providing instructions), follow DPH Guidance on Singing and Other Loud Vocalization.
    • When individuals are speaking reading or singing to a live audience and face coverings or shields cannot be used – you must stay 13 feet away from others, face away from the audience, or stand behind a physical barrier or partition such as a sneeze guard.  The same requirements are in effect whether the activity occurs inside or outside.
    • If face coverings are available but not used, the reader, speaker, or singer must put the face covering back on and use hand sanitizer immediately after speaking, reading, or singing.

Business Guidance

Effective 8:00 a.m. on September 4, 2020, businesses must: 

  • Require customers and visitors to wear face coverings, and post signage reminding customers of the requirement.
  • Provide reasonable alternate accommodations for customers who do not wear a face covering due to a medical condition (curbside pick-up, delivery, or appointment by video or phone).
  • Require employees to wear a face covering while working in areas open to the public and in areas where coming within 6 feet of other staff is likely.
  • Provide, at the business’s expense, face coverings and hand sanitizer for their employees, contractors and volunteers.
  • Require and maintain written documentation (like a doctor’s note) supporting accommodations for any employee, contractor, or volunteer not wearing a face covering.

Learn how to make a face covering from the CDC

Instructions on how to make and wear a face coveringMore information from CDC 

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Important to note:

  • Members of the general public should not to use medical or surgical masks. Medical-grade masks should be reserved for health care workers and first responders.
  • Individuals wearing a cloth face covering should practice strict hand washing before and after touching and adjusting the mask.
  • Face coverings are not a replacement for washing hands, physical distancing while performing essential activities, and staying home.

Frequently Asked Questions

 

A cloth face covering is a material that covers the nose and mouth. It can be secured to the head with ties or straps or simply wrapped around the lower face. It can be made of a variety of materials, such as cotton, silk, or linen. Research has shown that certain more densely-woven fabrics may be more effective. A cloth face covering may be factory-made or sewn by hand, or can be improvised from household items such as scarfs, T-shirts, sweatshirts, or towels.

The primary role of cloth face coverings are to reduce the release of infectious particles into the air when someone speaks, coughs, or sneezes, including someone who has COVID-19 but may not show symptoms. Cloth face coverings are not a substitute for washing hands, physical distancing while performing essential activities, and staying home, but they may be helpful when combined with these actions.

You are required to wear a face covering in public settings, including in grocery stores, convenience stores, pharmacies, doctor’s offices, and on public transportation. Wearing a cloth face covering does not eliminate the need to physically distance yourself from others. If you are sick, you should wear a cloth face covering, over your nose and mouth if you must be around other people — even while at home.

Washing your cloth face covering frequently, ideally after each use, or at least daily is strongly recommended. Use a bag or bin to store cloth face coverings until they can be laundered with detergent and hot water and dried on a hot cycle. If you must re-wear your cloth face covering before washing, wash your hands immediately after putting it back on or adjusting the mask, and avoid touching your face. Discard cloth face coverings that:

  • Have stretched out or damaged ties or straps
  • No longer cover the mouth and nose
  • Don’t stay on the face
  • Have any rips or holes in the fabric

Resources

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