FILE - DE John Carney 1-19-2021

Delaware Gov. John Carney speaks at the Major Joseph R. "Beau" Biden III National Guard/Reserve Center, Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021, in New Castle, Del. Content Exchange

(The Center Square) – A second extension of the Public Health Emergency declaration has been signed by Gov. John Carney.

The governor issued the mandate Wednesday in connection with the “serious public health threat” the state faces amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The original declaration was signed July 13 and extended Aug. 10.

The extension allows for the state and medical providers to continue COVID-19 vaccination and testing programs, the governor said in a news release.

Carney said in the declaration the “spread of highly transmissible variants of the coronavirus” and “the need to vaccinate Delawareans against the coronavirus continues.”

Delaware Health and Social Services updated COVID-19 data to show there were 244 new positive cases and three deaths, two in Sussex County and one in New Castle County, who ranged in age from their 70s to 90s. Total COVID-19 deaths in the state stands at 1,894.

Students in the classroom remains the governor’s top priority, he said.

“Getting all Delaware students back in the classroom for in person learning has been, and remains, our top priority,” Carney said in the release.

The governor urged those who are eligible to become vaccinated “to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our communities and keep our children in their classrooms learning.”

“These vaccines are extremely safe and effective at preventing serious illness and hospitalization, even against variants,” Carney said.

According  to Delaware’s emergency management statutes, the governor said in the declaration, “a Public Health Emergency proclaimed by the governor may not continue for more than 30 days without being renewed.”

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