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Department of Health: Businesses Continue to Maintain Option to Require Individuals to Wear Masks


Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Health today reminded Pennsylvanians that fully vaccinated individuals may choose not to wear a mask, unless a business or organization, such as a school, requires that added layer of protection, in accordance with updated masking guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

“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. “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, all individuals should still follow guidance at workplaces, local businesses, long-term care facilities, hospitals, prisons, and homeless shelters. 

The Secretary of Health’s universal face covering order remains in effect and unvaccinated individuals, including children, must still comply with the order. Once 70 percent of Pennsylvanians over the age of 18 are fully vaccinated, Pennsylvania will lift the masking order. As of today, May 14, 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.  

The Department of Health is working to ensure the vaccine is provided in a way that is ethical, equitable and efficient to all Pennsylvanians:  

·       All Pennsylvanians age 12 and older are eligible to schedule a COVID-19 vaccine. Use Vaccine Finder to find a COVID-19 vaccine provider near you.   

·       A commonwealth COVID-19 vaccination guide explains the current process for getting one. Pennsylvanians with questions about the vaccination process can call the Department of Health hotline at 1-877-724-3258.  

·       Vaccine provider map to find a COVID-19 vaccine provider near you.   

·       All of the locations that received vaccine and how much they have received can be found on the COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution webpage.   

·       Vaccine dashboard data can also be found on the website to find more information on the doses administered and showcase demographic information.   

·       The Unite Against COVID Weekly Update is a round-up of news you can use and answers to your most pressing vaccine questions – delivered directly to your inbox every week.   

·       Pennsylvanians can provide feedback on the Pennsylvania COVID-19 Interim Vaccination Plan by clicking on the Plan Feedback Form square under Popular Vaccine Topics here.   

·       Frequently asked questions can be found here.   

The Wolf Administration stresses the role Pennsylvanians play in helping to reduce the spread of COVID-19:  

·       Get vaccinated with one of the three safe and effective vaccines available to provide the best layer of protection.   

·       Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.  

·       Cover any coughs or sneezes with your elbow, not your hands.  

·       Clean surfaces frequently.  

·       Stay home to avoid spreading COVID-19, especially if you are unwell.  

·       Download the COVID Alert PA app and make your phone part of the fight. The free app can be found in the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store by searching for “covid alert pa”.  


Updated Coronavirus Links: Press Releases, State Lab Photos, Graphics  

·       Daily COVID-19 Report  

·       Press releases regarding coronavirus  

·       Latest information on the coronavirus  

·       Photos of the state’s lab in Exton (for download and use)  

·       Coronavirus and preparedness graphics (located at the bottom of the page)  

·       Community preparedness and procedures materials  

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