HARRISBURG, Pa. — Governor Tom Wolf issued a reminder to Pennsylvanians Thursday that facemasks are required to enter any business in counties in the Yellow or Green phase of COVID-19 reopening.
Masks are considered critical in stopping the spread of COVID-19, now and in preparation for a possible resurgence of the virus in the fall, Wolf said in a press release.
The mask requirement is part of Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel’s Levine’s order, “Directing Public Health Safety Measures for Businesses Permitted to Maintain In-person Operations,” which pertains to all counties regardless of the phase of reopening, Wolf said.
“In yellow and green counties, it is required that masks are worn when visiting businesses to protect employees, employees’ families, and communities as a whole," said Wolf. "Mask-wearing has proven to be an important deterrent to the spread of the virus, and as more counties move to green and more things reopen, we need to be vigilant in our efforts to continue our mitigation efforts.”
A recent study from Cambridge and Greenwich universities in the United Kingdom found that cloth masks, “even homemade masks with limited effectiveness can dramatically reduce transmission rates if worn by enough people, regardless of whether they show symptoms," Wolf said in a press release.
He added that peer-reviewed studies published in scientific journals such as The New England Journal of Medicine corroborate the need for masks and the U.S. Surgeon General said that wearing a mask doesn’t impinge on our freedom – it gives us more freedom from unknowingly spreading COVID-19.
The state’s business guidance outlines mask-wearing requirements and additional safety parameters for both employees and customers.