Pennsylvania lifting universal masking order on June 28

Monday will mark the end of Pennsylvania's universal masking order as health officials say nearly 60% of the population are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19. As of Friday morning, nearly 75% of Pennsylvanians age 18 and older have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

On Friday morning, Acting Secretary of Health Alison Beam announced that the commonwealth's universal masking order would be lifted at 12:01 a.m. Monday morning. 

Residents will still be asked to follow mask-wearing guidance where required. 

"We are continuing to make progress toward stopping the spread of COVID-19 throughout the commonwealth, as many Pennsylvanians have taken responsibility for their own health and the health of their communities by getting vaccinated," Acting Secretary of Health Alison Beam said. "Even though the universal masking order will be lifted in a few days, businesses, organizations, health care providers and other entities maintain the option of requiring employees, guests or customers to wear a mask, regardless of their vaccination status."

Officials say individuals who have not yet been vaccinated or are partially vaccinated are still encouraged to wear a mask when in public. Individuals should also still follow guidance at workplaces, local businesses, long-term care facilities, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities, prisons, and shelters. 

According to the CDC's vaccine tracker, Pennsylvania ranks eighth among all 50 states in first doses administered by percentage of population. 

Back in May, Pennsylvania health officials had said they would lift the universal masking order on Monday, or at an earlier date if the state had managed to fully vaccinate 70% of the adult population. 

Pennsylvania was among the first states to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's updated guidance on mask-wearing and social distancing for fully vaccinated people. As of Friday, Pennsylvanians who are two weeks removed from their final dose of the COVID-19 vaccine are no longer required to wear a mask in most indoor and outdoor settings.



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