Pennsylvania Dem governor mandates masks to be worn inside your home
Pennsylvania’s Democrat Governor Tom Wolf has announced new COVID restrictions, including ordering people to wear masks inside their own homes. The state health secretary, Dr. Rachel Levine, also just stated that targeted efforts to control the spread of COVID-19 in Pennsylvania are underway and that includes a stricter mask mandate. The state has seen a sharp increase in coronavirus infections and hospitalizations and officials are moving to clamp down because of it.
Levine announced an order that takes effect on Friday, November 20th, that will require travelers to have a negative COVID-19 test result 72 hours prior to arriving in the Commonwealth. Residents who travel to other states must follow the same rules when coming home. If the person does not or cannot get a test, they must quarantine for 14 days.
There will be exceptions to the rule. Those seeking medical treatment and people who must commute to and from Pennsylvania are excluded. However, commuters are encouraged to work from home when possible.
People who fly will not have their COVID-19 test results checked and authorities will not pull every person over who drives into the Commonwealth. The recommendation is no traveling, and she said she hopes people will be responsible and help stop the spread of COVID-19.
Dr. Levine has signed an order strengthening mask requirements. Residents are now required to wear a mask anytime you are with people outside your home. It is expected that businesses will enforce the mandate.
People must also wear masks inside a home if they are not part of the household. So, if you have someone who visits you, they must wear a mask indoors even if you practice social distancing.
“Strengthening masking order. Masks are still required. Indoors: masks now required anytime you’re with people outside of your household, even if you’re socially distant. Applies to all indoor facilities + if you have people in your home not part of your household,” the PA Department of Health tweeted on Tuesday.
▪️ Strengthening masking order. Masks are still required. Indoors: masks now required anytime you’re with people outside of your household, even if you’re socially distant. Applies to all indoor facilities + if you have people in your home not part of your household
— PA Department of Health (@PAHealthDept) November 17, 2020
“In the end, people will have the consequences of their actions as well as their families and their communities, and if they do not wear masks, if they do not social distance, then those communities are going to see even more spread of COVID-19,” she said. Levine also obliquely threatened even more mandates if residents did not comply.
Levine acknowledged that officials are relying on voluntary compliance rather than on enforcement.
According to a model from the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation, Pennsylvania will run out of ICU beds in December, Dr. Levine said.
NEW COVID-19 MITIGATION EFFORTS:
▪️ Anyone traveling to/from out of state will have to get a COVID-19 test 72 hours before arriving in PA. Starts on Friday.
▪️ Masks will be required indoors even when socially distanced
▪️ Colleges must come up with a testing plan. @fox43 pic.twitter.com/IG2Yobocc1
— Jackie De Tore (@jackiedetore) November 17, 2020
It has been recommended that hospitals move up elective procedures if they are overwhelmed. Levine says hospitals should also postpone some elective procedures if deemed appropriate by health officials.
Officials are warning that Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 death count could double from more than 9,000 to 18,000 by March.
“It is our collective responsibility to protect our communities and our most vulnerable Pennsylvanians from COVID-19 and to continue to work together to get through this pandemic. These targeted mitigation efforts, combined with existing ones, are paramount to saving lives and protecting our economy,” Gov. Wolf said. “The administration will continue to monitor the risks posed by COVID-19 across the commonwealth and will reinstate or institute new targeted mitigation tactics as necessary.”
Pennsylvania already has occupancy limits on bars and restaurants.
Philadelphia has gone even further, announcing on Monday that they are banning indoor gatherings and dining as well as closing casinos, gyms, museums, and libraries.
Wolf imposed a stay-at-home order and shuttered businesses deemed “non-life-sustaining” early in the pandemic. In September, a judge ruled Wolf’s pandemic restrictions unconstitutional.