Pennsylvania Department of Health ends mask wearing policy for vaccinated and unvaccinated people in public

Written by on June 28, 2021

 Pennsylvania Department of Health ends mask wearing policy for vaccinated and unvaccinated people in public

By Brett Sholtis
June 28, 2021

People wearing masks walk through a terminal at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Monday, March 16, 2020, in Arlington, Va. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Fourteen months after it began, the Pennsylvania Health Department has ended its policy that people wear face masks in public.

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The state credits widespread vaccinations with driving down COVID-19 cases.

State acting Health Secretary Alison Beam says Pennsylvanians who are vaccinated are helping to stop the spread of COVID-19, and it now makes sense to lift the mask mandate.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data show 59% of Pennsylvanians are fully vaccinated. 

Previously, the state said fully vaccinated people did not need to wear masks, but still required unvaccinated people to wear them. 

The mask mandate was one of several public health interventions, along with social distancing and business closures, that helped to slow the virus’s spread while health care companies developed immunizations. 

Beam notes businesses, health care providers and other groups may decide to continue requiring masks.

She urges people to comply with those local requests. 

Like those other measures, refusing to wear a mask became a political symbol during an election year. 

Beam urges people to get vaccinated if they haven’t done so. People who are not vaccinated are at risk for getting a more dangerous new variant of the virus that has some countries returning to mask wearing and business closures.

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