Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration ordered that masks are now mandatory in all public spaces across the state.
The order, which takes effect immediately, mandates that face masks are required for anyone who leaves their home.
“This mask-wearing order is essential to stopping the recent increase in COVID-19 cases we have seen in Pennsylvania,” Gov. Wolf said in a statement. “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.”
Under the order, people have to wear masks outdoors if they are unable to keep six feet away from people who aren’t members of their household. Masks are also mandated at any indoor location where the public is permitted.
#COVID19 UPDATE: In Pennsylvania, masks must now be worn whenever anyone leaves home.
This is essential to stopping the recent increase in #COVID19 cases in Pennsylvania.
— Governor Tom Wolf (@GovernorTomWolf) July 1, 2020
His order outlines the situations when a mask must be worn, including limited exceptions (pdf), including people who cannot wear them due to health reasons. Children under 2 years old are also exempt.
“It is essential that Pennsylvanians wear masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said in a statement. “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.”
The state health department said that 636 were confirmed on Wednesday, bringing the total number of CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus cases to 87,000. More than 6,600 deaths have been reported so far.
Wolf said the mask order will be sent out to all state and local officials, including law enforcement personnel.
According to the order (pdf), people have to wear masks if they are:
- Outdoors and unable to consistently maintain a distance of 6 feet from people not part of their households.
- In an indoor location where members of the general public are permitted.
- Waiting for, riding on, driving or operating public transportation, in a taxi, in a private car service, or ride-sharing vehicle
- Going to a hospital, pharmacy, medical clinic, laboratory, physician or dental office, veterinary clinic or blood bank
- Engaged in work, whether at 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 wherein unable to physically distance.