On August 12, Delaware Governor John Carney ordered all state employees and health care workers to be vaccinated for COVID-19 on or before September 30 or submit to regular COVID-19 testing.1 Additionally, he encouraged private businesses to impose similar requirements upon their employees and emphasized that many Delaware companies have already acted to do so.2 While not an official Executive Order, the Governor’s office indicated that regulations enforcing the requirements will be posted shortly. The order affects 14,000 employees of Delaware agencies, but does not pertain to public school employees, who are administered by the state’s 19 school districts, none of which have yet required vaccination.3

While well over 70% of Delaware adults have been vaccinated with at least one dose, COVID-19 hospitalizations have begun to rise again largely due to the Delta variant, which has proved more transmissible than other forms of the virus.4 Approximately 99% of new Delaware cases have occurred in unvaccinated Delawareans.5 “There’s no better way to protect our most vulnerable neighbors from this virus than getting the COVID-19 vaccine,” Governor Carney said. “If you haven’t gotten your COVID-19 vaccine yet, consider it. Vaccination is how we’ll make sure our communities get healthier and continue to build a great future in our state.” 6

Three Delaware health systems, ChristianaCare, St. Francis Hospital, and Nemours have mandated that their employees receive the vaccine or face termination.7 Bayhealth, Beebe Healthcare, and TidalHealth have not implemented vaccine mandates to date. 8

The complete list of health care facilities covered by the new Delaware requirements are as follows:

Long Term Care Facilities:

  • Nursing homes
  • Assisted-living facilities
  • Intermediate-care facility for persons with developmental or intellectual disabilities
  • Neighborhood homes
  • Group homes for persons with serious and persistent mental illness
  • Group homes for persons with HIV/AIDS
  • Family care homes
  • Rest residential facilities
  • Intensive behavioral support and educational residences

Acute and Outpatient Providers:

  • Adult daycares
  • Free-standing birthing centers
  • Free-standing emergency departments
  • Free-standing surgical centers
  • Home health agencies: aide only (non-skilled)
  • Skilled home health agencies
  • Hospitals (including psychiatric hospitals)
  • Prescribed pediatric extended care centers
  • Hospice
  • Personal assistance service agencies
  • Office-based surgery 9