Sec. of Health signs order requiring everyone to wear masks outside of their home

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HARRISBURG, DAUPHIN COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — Masks are now mandatory in all public spaces in Pennsylvania.

A new order signed on Wednesday by Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine under the Disease Prevention and Control Act, masks must be worn whenever anyone leaves home. The order takes effect immediately.

“This mask-wearing order is essential to stopping the recent increase in COVID-19 cases we have seen in Pennsylvania,” Governor Tom Wolf said in a statement. “Those hot spots can be traced to situations where Pennsylvanians were not wearing masks or practicing social distancing – two practices that must be adhered to if we want to maintain the freedoms we have in place under our reopening.”

Previously, masks were only required to be worn in Pennsylvania businesses. This new order expands the requirement to all spaces with few exceptions. Masks do not have to be worn outdoors where sufficient social distancing can occur. Children under two, those with respiratory medical conditions and people who could not remove a mask without assistance are exempt from the rule.

“It is essential that Pennsylvanians wear masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said in a statement. “While cases increase in some areas, we cannot become complacent. My mask protects you, and your mask protects me. Wearing a mask shows that you care about others, and that you are committed to protecting the lives of those around you.” 

Local officials and law enforcement will be tasked with education about the order for those not in compliance.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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