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Dept. of Health reminder: Fully vaccinated people can now take off their masks -- unless businesses, schools, or other organizations require them

Businesses and workplaces may still require this added layer of protection for employees or customers, acting Secretary of Health Alison Beam said today.

HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Department of Health on Friday issued a reminder to Pennsylvanians that under current state and CDC guidance, fully vaccinated people can now choose not to wear a mask -- unless a business or organization, such as a school, requires that added layer of protection

“By getting vaccinated with one of the three safe and effective vaccines, you are adding the best layer of protection for yourself and others,” Acting Secretary of Health Alison Beam said in a press release. “If you are fully vaccinated, it is an incentive to be able to remove your mask, but businesses and workplaces may still require this added layer of protection for their employees or customers that may have underlying conditions that continue to make them vulnerable to this virus. 

"We ask that Pennsylvanians continue to be kind and respectful to each other as we continue to fight COVID-19 in our communities and continue to get residents vaccinated.” 

The CDC guidance states that fully vaccinated individuals – two weeks after their final dose -- can resume activities that they did prior to the pandemic without wearing a mask or physically distancing, except where required by law, rule, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.

Under the guidance, individuals are still being required to wear a mask on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States, and in U.S. transportation hubs, such as airports and stations. 

In addition, everyone should still follow guidance at workplaces, local businesses, long-term care facilities, hospitals, prisons, and homeless shelters, according to the state and the CDC.

The Secretary of Health’s universal face covering order remains in effect and unvaccinated individuals, including children, must still comply with the order, Beam said. 

Once 70 percent of Pennsylvanians over the age of 18 are fully vaccinated, Pennsylvania will lift the masking order, she added. 

As of Friday, 47.4 percent of adults 18 and older are fully vaccinated in Pennsylvania, according to the CDC vaccine tracker

You can find the nearest vaccine provider with available vaccine using Vaccine Finder.  

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