Pennsylvania not planning to reinstate universal masking but DOH recommends vaccinations for Musikfest

Written by on July 29, 2021

Pennsylvania not planning to reinstate universal masking but DOH recommends vaccinations for Musikfest

By Tyler Pratt

July 29, 2021

A woman wears a mask in New York out of concern for the newly emerged coronavirus. However, experts say that the commonly worn surgical masks aren’t very effective protection.

Pennsylvania is not planning to mandate universal masking despite the recent sharp rise in new COVID-19 cases. 

Department of Health (DOH) officials say they’re not considering that option now, but are pushing vaccinations. 

Though state health officials say they won’t reinstate an indoor mask order in the commonwealth now, they are recommending Pennsylvanians follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance

That new CDC guidance includes a recommendation to mask up inside if you are in a handful of Pennsylvania counties with “substantial transmission” including Crawford, Cameron, Monroe and Northampton counties.

CDC also recommends masking for everyone in all K-12 schools.

Northampton County has a large festival coming up: Musikfest starts Aug. 6. DOH officials say if you’re attending, “get vaccinated.”  

And that’s the state line right now, get a COVID shot. The vaccination rate has slowed. According to the CDC, 52% of all Pennsylvanians are fully vaccinated.

DOH officials also say they are looking into what data they have on “breakthrough cases,” instances where a fully vaccinated person tests positive for COVID-19. 

In a statement to WLVR News, the Pennsylvania DOH said, “the CDC transitioned from monitoring all reported vaccine breakthrough cases to focus on identifying and investigating only hospitalized or fatal cases due to any cause to help maximize the quality of the data collected on cases of greatest clinical and public health importance.” 

State health officials added they are working on their own calculation and analysis of these cases.

The Department of Health is giving a vaccination update at 2 p.m. today to update information and to answer questions. 

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