by PublicSource reporters
On April 3, as the state reported another 1,404 COVID-19 cases, Gov. Tom Wolf asked that all Pennsylvanians wear face masks when leaving home.
The state says surgical masks and N95 respirator masks should still be reserved for healthcare workers or patients in healthcare settings. Homemade masks, paper masks or even bandanas and scarves can be used by the general public in addition to social distancing. Cloth masks should be washed after each use. Wolf’s office has released resources instructing Pennsylvanians on how to make homemade masks.
Until recently, the public has generally been advised against wearing face masks by all authorities, particularly because of reported shortages for healthcare workers. Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine addressed this shift: “What’s changed is the views of the public health community, nationally and internationally, on the utility of the whole community using masks.” It is expected that the White House will issue a similar recommendation for all Americans to wear face masks in coming days.
Friday’s reported spike in cases marks another record single-day increase of COVID-19 cases. There are now 8,420 confirmed cases spanning 63 of the 67 counties.
The state also experienced 12 additional deaths; in total, 102 Pennsylvanians are reported to have died of COVID-19.
A man wearing a face mask waits for the bus along Murray Avenue in Squirrel Hill on March 27. (Photo by Kimberly Rowen/PublicSource)
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