Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf today announced an order that provides new regulations for mask-wearing in the state.
With this order, signed under Health Secretary Levine’s authority under the Disease Prevention and Control Act, masks must be worn whenever anyone leaves home. The order takes effect immediately.
“This mask-wearing order is essential to stopping the recent increase in COVID-19 cases we have seen in Pennsylvania,” Gov. Wolf said. “Those hot spots can be traced to situations where Pennsylvanians were not wearing masks or practicing social distancing – two practices that must be adhered to if we want to maintain the freedoms we have in place under our reopening.”
The order outlines the situations when a mask must be worn. According the order, face coverings are required whenever people are:
A. outdoors and unable to consistently maintain a distance of six feet from individuals who are not members of their household;
B. in any indoor location where members of the public are generally permitted;
C. waiting for, riding on, driving, or operating public transportation or paratransit or while in a taxi, private car service, or ride-sharing vehicle;
D. obtaining services from the healthcare sector in settings including, but not limited to, a hospital, pharmacy, medical clinic, laboratory, physician or dental office, veterinary clinic, or blood bank; or
E. engaged in work, whether at the workplace or performing work off-site, when interacting in-person with any member of the public, working in any space visited by members of the public, working in any space where food is prepared or packaged for sale or distribution to others, working in or walking through common areas, or in any room or enclosed area where other people, except for members of the person’s own household or residence, are present when unable to physically distance.
“It is essential that Pennsylvanians wear masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said. “While cases increase in some areas, we cannot become complacent. My mask protects you, and your mask protects me. Wearing a mask shows that you care about others, and that you are committed to protecting the lives of those around you.”
More and more health experts have called for mask wearing, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who said during a June 30 Senate hearing on COVID-19, “Americans who don’t wear masks may ‘propagate the further spread of infection.’”
The mask-wearing order will be sent to state and local officials, law enforcement and others tasked with education about the order for those not in compliance.