Harrisburg, PA – Schools districts will be able to make their own decisions about whether masks will be required this upcoming year in Pennsylvania.
At a press conference on Friday while encouraging all Pennsylvanians to get vaccinated, Gov. Tom Wolf clarified that there will be no statewide mask mandate for Pennsylvania schools.
The schools themselves might still have requirements that families need to follow.
Wolf says the CDC is not mandating masks and neither is Pennsylvania.
That could change, depending on if circumstances and the rate of COVID-19 cases change.
Philadelphia, PA – As Pennsylvania’s vaccination rate continues to progress, Gov. Tom Wolf thanked Pennsylvanians for doing their part to stop the spread of COVID-19 and urged individuals ages 12 and older to get vaccinated.
Governor Wolf and local elected officials visited a vaccination clinic today sponsored by Jefferson Health at St. Raymond of Penafort Catholic Church in the Cedarbrook section of Philadelphia.
“I’m proud of all of the Pennsylvanians who have stepped up to get their shot and I am grateful to everyone who has had a hand in organizing and running vaccine clinics like the one we’re visiting today. Your hard work saves lives, and we cannot thank you enough for all that you do,” Gov. Wolf said. “Pennsylvania has had a lot of success rolling out COVID-19 vaccines over the past several months. Unfortunately, despite widespread vaccine availability, there are still many eligible Pennsylvanians who are unvaccinated.”
“Please, if you haven’t had time to get vaccinated, make time. Vaccines are effective, safe, free and available.”
Pennsylvania continues to make strides toward getting individuals vaccinated. Currently, Pennsylvania is ranked fifth among all 50 states for total vaccine doses administered, with more than 63% of Pennsylvanians ages 18 and older fully vaccinated. The commonwealth has seen a seven-day moving average of more than 13,100 people per day receiving vaccinations. As new more contagious variants spread across the country, unvaccinated individuals, and children under age 12 are at higher risk of contracting the virus.
Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are readily available at health care facilities, pharmacies and community clinics. Find a location on the CDC’s vaccine locator, here.
“As a doctor in the emergency room I’ve seen people suffer from COVID-19 infections. Being able to bring COVID testing and vaccines into communities in collaboration with strong partners like St. Raymond Church is crucial to ending this pandemic and keeping Philadelphia safe,” said Dr. Morgan Hutchinson, assistant medical director of emergency medicine at Jefferson Health. “The last mile of the race to get people vaccinated will be the most difficult one. By meeting people in their communities and bringing vaccines to their church, school and neighborhood we are making it as easy as possible for people to protect themselves and their families. The best way people can protect themselves and avoid ending up in my emergency room is to get vaccinated.”
“It has been a great blessing for our Church to partner with Jefferson in providing testing and vaccines on our campus throughout the pandemic,” said the Rev. Christopher Walsh, St. Raymond’s pastor. “As people of faith, we are called to make choices that promote the common good, and I believe the choice to get vaccinated is for the good of my sisters and brothers.”
Community events like these are critical to reaching the public and protecting ourselves and our neighbors.
“When enough people in our communities get vaccinated, those vaccines act like a shield. When a lot of people in one community are vaccinated, that helps slow the spread of disease everywhere in the community. It keeps people who can’t get vaccinated – like kids under 12 – safer from more dangerous and more contagious variants of COVID-19 like Delta,” Gov. Wolf said. “When you get vaccinated, you are protecting yourself from serious illness and protecting the people around you, including your friends and family.”
The Wolf Administration is administering comprehensive, far-reaching vaccine efforts throughout the commonwealth to encourage Pennsylvanians to get vaccinated, including hosting a public vaccination clinic earlier this week in Harrisburg and partnering with the PA State Association of County Fairs to offer free vaccination clinics. Further, the governor and the bipartisan COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force recently sent a letter to the General Assembly, Pennsylvania Congressional delegation and county and local officials asking them to support vaccination efforts in the commonwealth and encouraging their constituents to get vaccinated.
“Get vaccinated!” said state Senator Art Haywood (D-Philadelphia/Montgomery), COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force member.
“I was proud to vote for the American Rescue Plan, which is providing more than $23 billion in federal funding for vaccine efforts. I appreciate what the Wolf Administration and some bipartisan leaders are doing to promote vaccination in Pennsylvania,” said Congressman Dwight Evans (D-Philadelphia). “I want to make sure everyone 12 and older gets this free, safe and effective vaccine. It is the best way to protect yourself and the children who aren’t yet eligible. Together we can crush this virus and stop new variants from emerging.”