Pennsylvania Sets Date for End of Mask Mandate
But don’t throw away the masks just yet — certain CDC guidelines still apply.
The mask is coming off, Pennsylvania, although certain guidelines are still in place.
Originally issued last April, the state’s universal masking order is set to be lifted at 12:01 a.m. Monday, June 28.
“We are continuing to make progress toward stopping the spread of COVID-19 throughout the commonwealth, as many Pennsylvanians have taken responsibility for their own health and the health of their communities by getting vaccinated,” says the state’s Acting Secretary of Health Alison Beam. “Even though the universal masking order will be lifted in a few days, businesses, organizations, health care providers and other entities maintain the option of requiring employees, guests or customers to wear a mask, regardless of their vaccination status.”
The department continues to urge Pennsylvanians to follow CDC guidance for wearing a mask where required by law, rule and regulations.
For example, the CDC still requires people to wear a mask on planes, buses, trains and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the U.S, as well as in transportation hubs such as airports and stations.
In addition, individuals should continue to follow guidance at workplaces, local businesses, long-term care facilities, hospitals and other healthcare facilities, prisons and shelters.
“As we shift to wearing masks less often, it is important to remain resilient in the fight against COVID-19, just as we have done together over the last year and a half,” Acting Physician General Dr. Denise Johnson adds.
For the protection of themselves and others, those who have not yet been vaccinated or are partially vaccinated are still encouraged to wear a mask in public. Johnson also called the COVID-19 vaccines the best tools available to defeat the virus, noting there are plenty of vaccination options available.
“Getting as many Pennsylvanians vaccinated as possible will offer more protection against the virus for everyone and is the fastest and safest way for us to return to our normal activities,” she says.
According to the CDC vaccine tracker, as of Friday morning, 74.9 percent of Pennsylvanians age 18 and older have received their first dose, while 59.4 percent are fully vaccinated. The commonwealth ranks 8th among all 50 states for first doses administered by percentage of population.
Health officials also reminded the public that health measures such as isolation and quarantine remain necessary to prevent the spread of infection. Those who are sick should stay home unless seeking medical care or COVID-19 testing. Those in contact with a person who tested positive for COVID are asked to cooperate with all public health recommendations, including quarantine, so that if they become infected they will not spread the virus to others.
For more information about Pennsylvania’s vaccination program, visit here.