Speak Out: DPH outlines next groups eligible for COVID vaccine

More essential workers and individuals who are 65 years or older have been added to the state’s Phase 1B group for its rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine. The Delaware Division of Public Health finalized these recommendations Tuesday. The state is currently in Phase 1A, which includes health care personnel who have direct contact with ill patients or infectious material, emergency medical services agencies, long-term care staff and long-term care residents. Dr. Karyl Rattay, director of the DPH, said she expects Phase 1B to start in the middle or end of January.

• Again, King Carney deciding who is essential. — David A. Gibson

• I’m pretty sure Gov. John Carney is using guidelines based on the most lives he can save. What’s the basis of your remark? — Patricia Marie Diienno

• It’s the highest-risk, essential employees like, um, nurses and long-term care residents, since they were hardest hit. — Beth Anne Poe-Houseman

• What about the powerline men that keep all the lights on? Pretty essential personnel, if you ask me. — Robert Hawthorne

• Definitely. But they also have to weigh your degree of exposure to the potentially infected while working in that capacity. I’d imagine your duration and frequency of exposure to others, not to mention volume of contacts, is less than someone working in a grocery store or gas station. Nobody is any less important than anyone else. They just have to start somewhere, so they’re doing the best they can to quantify risk and strategize appropriately. — Crystal Vicidomini

• In a shop of only six people, one guy out for a month is very hard to meet the calls. — Robert Hawthorne

Thankful for relief bill

This year, there has been a 56% increase in the needs for the services that First State Community Action Agency provides, said Executive Director Bernice Edwards. That’s helping with utilities, rent, mortgages and food for needy Delawareans. “We have really seen an uptick in the need, and we provide those services here at First State, and it has been, for us, during these last few months, some real challenge times,” she said. President Donald Trump signed a $900 billion pandemic-relief package, including individual payments of $600, unemployment benefits, aid for small businesses, funding for vaccines and more.

• Thankful for President Trump making it possible to fast-track the COVID vaccines. — Howard Gaines III

• It just pains the liberals to admit that. — Bob Hice

• It pains me that there are so many people that still think Trump gives a flying flip about them. All he cares about is his ego, and he will do what he thinks will make people stroke it the most. —Lani Cotton