Harrisburg, PA – So far, the enforcement of the mask mandate in Pennsylvania has mostly focused on educating people on why wearing a mask is important, not necessarily giving out fines for not wearing one.
In the end, Governor Tom Wolf says even though the mask order is enforceable and people could face fines, he thinks legal enforcement isn’t the most important aspect of getting people to wear a mask.
CLICK HERE to read the Frequently Asked Questions about PA’s mandated mask order.
Governor Tom Wolf visited the Susquehanna Township Police headquarters recently to discuss the important roles education and understanding play in the enforcement of the various COVID-19 mitigation orders in place across the state.
“We have to do everything we can to keep our communities safe and healthy, including wearing a mask and following mitigation orders so our business operate safely,” Gov. Wolf said. “We have the ability to enforce these rules, and we are going to continue to work closely with commonwealth agencies and local officials to enforce public safety orders.”
The governor was joined by representatives of commonwealth agencies and local law enforcement involved in mitigation order enforcement, including Secretary of Heath Dr. Rachel Levine, Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding, Pennsylvania State Police Lt. Col. Scott Price, and Susquehanna Township Chief of Police Rob Martin.
Each representative focused on the role their agency plays in education and enforcement of the various orders in place to keep Pennsylvanians safe and stop the spread of COVID-19.
“Wearing a mask is so important to protecting each other. I implore all Pennsylvanians to do right thing,” Dr. Levine said. “When you wear a mask you are not only telling that person you pass on the street that you care about their safety, you are telling police and other first responders that you care about their safety, too.”
“Pennsylvania’s restaurant owners and staff and have delivered for us, putting safe, healthy food on our tables,” Redding said. “We can all deliver for them by wearing a mask and following the COVID-19 measures to keep them safe and healthy.”
“As some of the most visible public servants in the commonwealth, the state police will continue working collaboratively with the Department of Health and local police departments to remain at the forefront of law enforcement pandemic response efforts,” said Lieutenant Colonel Price. “We are grateful to the majority of Pennsylvanians who have stepped up to follow mitigation requirements and for all the support our troopers and liquor control enforcement officers have received during the past several months.”
Local law enforcement’s role is a collaborative one with state agencies and local officials, and Chief Martin stressed his department’s work to educate businesses and residents, and to refer any suspected violations of the governor and Dr. Levine’s orders to the proper state agency if necessary.
“Our citizens in Susquehanna Township have been inspiring. On many occasions they have contacted our police department and our government center for advice, guidance, and our assistance. We wish to meet our citizens where they are and be an educational voice of gentle persuasion,” Martin said. “Of the times that we have had to make referrals to our commonwealth partners, we have been met with cooperation and understanding. I want to thank the commonwealth for being a valued partner, and thank Governor Wolf for his always civil mannered discourse, as what our country needs right now is civility.”
The governor also asked local elected officials and business owners to work with local law enforcement to protect their communities and constituents.
“I’m calling upon every Pennsylvanian to do their part to help us get as close as we can to 100 percent compliance on masking,” Gov. Wolf said. “We need the help of our business owners to get workers masking. We need the help of our local elected officials to emphasize the importance of masking on keeping the community safe.”
According to a recent poll by Franklin & Marshall College, two-thirds of registered voters in Pennsylvania believe it is “extremely important” to wear a mask whenever they leave home.
“We need to come together, unified, against COVID-19,” Gov. Wolf said. “I’m calling upon every Pennsylvanian to do their part to help us get as close as we can to 100 percent compliance on masking.”