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Information on the Updated Masking Order

Why Do I Need to Wear a Mask?

COVID-19 is a contagious disease that is rapidly spreading from person to person. People infected with the virus can spread it to others even if their symptoms are mild. To slow the spread and protect Pennsylvanians, Governor Tom Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine announced a new order, expanding on the business safety order signed in April, that requires everyone to wear a mask when they go out in public.

When Do I Need to Wear a Mask?

You are required to wear a face mask when you are:

  • Outdoors and unable to consistently stay six feet away from those who are not members of your household;
  • In any indoor location where the public is generally permitted;
  • Waiting for, riding on, driving, or operating public transportation or paratransit or while in a taxi, private car service or ride-sharing vehicle;
  • Obtaining healthcare services in settings including, but not limited to, a hospital, pharmacy, medical clinic, laboratory, physician, or dental office, veterinary clinic, or blood bank; or
  • Actively working, whether at your workplace or performing work off-site, interacting in-person with any member of the public, working in any space visited by members of the public, working in any space where food is prepared or packaged to be sold or distributed to others, working in or walking through common areas, or in any room or enclosed area where other people, except for members of your own household or residence, are present and unable to physically distance.

Who Does Not Need to Wear a Mask?

Every member of the public is required to wear a mask whenever they leave their house. However, exceptions include:

  • Individuals who cannot wear a mask due to a medical condition, such as those with respiratory issues that make breathing difficult, and those with a mental health condition or other disability;
  • Individuals for whom wearing a mask while working would create an unsafe condition when operating equipment or executing a task as determined by local, state, or federal regulators or workplace safety guidelines;
  • Individuals who would be unable to remove a mask without help;
  • Individuals who are under age 2;
  • Individuals who are communicating or wanting to communicate with someone who is hearing impaired or has another disability, where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication;

Resources for More Information

For information on the types of masks, visit here.

For information on mask guidance for children, visit here. Help is available, contact the Crisis Text Line by texting PA to 741-741.       


Date created: 7/2/2020