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COVID In Delaware: New Indoor Mask Mandate Issued Beginning Tuesday As Cases Surge

WILMINGTON, Del. (CBS) -- Starting Tuesday morning, you'll need to wear a mask inside most public places in Delaware. This comes as COVID-19 cases continue to surge and hospitals are overwhelmed.

When this new mask mandate goes into effect, Delaware residents and anyone else visiting the state will need a mask in most indoor public settings, including convenience and grocery stores, gyms, restaurants, bars, hair salons, malls and casinos.

"I think it's a great idea. COVID or not, there's germs everywhere. I myself am immunocompromised. I'm getting my booster next week, I'm already vaccinated since April. I think it's a great idea," one woman said.

It's a sentiment we heard a lot of.

"I think it's safer for everybody if we can't all get on board and get vaccinated then we need to have a physical barrier," one woman said.

"Safety is the main thing," one man said.

Gov. John Carney says he's reinstituting the mandate because the state's hospital systems are facing a "crisis level situation," with record numbers of residents seeking emergency care. He added that some residents who need emergency care may not be able to get it. We heard that as well, when we spoke to this gentleman.

"I called the emergency room last night thinking about taking my daughter there for an unrelated nothing to do with COVID. They said there's currently 173 people sitting here waiting," one man said.

Naturally, there were dissenters as well.

"I find it to be very invasive on people's liberties, on what they are allowed to do. I think everyone's rights to take their own risk is the thing that should be most important," one man said.

Much has been made of business owners caught between customers who don't want to wear a mask and state mandates. This gentleman shared a different take.

"I'm thrilled that the governor is taking some stands and not having the responsibility fall to the business owners to all make a decision. My customers have been wondering should we or shouldn't we and now we have a clear position from the governor so I'm happy to support that," one man said.

Carney will give more information in his COVID briefing Tuesday afternoon at 1:45 p.m. You can watch it live on CBSN Philly.

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