WARREN — Effective immediately, Pennsylvanians have been warned not to leave home without wearing a mask.
Expanding on the business safety order signed in April requiring the wearing of masks in businesses, Gov. Tom Wolf today issued a new order taking the mask-wearing directive one step further.
With this order, signed under the authority under the Disease Prevention and Control Act, masks must be worn whenever anyone leaves home.
“This mask-wearing order is essential to stopping the recent increase in COVID-19 cases we have seen in Pennsylvania,” 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 and includes limited exceptions to the face-covering requirement.
“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.
The order takes effect immediately.