Pennsylvanians will not be required to wear a mask once the 70% of the population is vaccinated, Gov. Tom Wolf announced Tuesday.
As of May 4, more than 3 million residents are fully vaccinated, which would represent around a third of the state’s adult residents. More than 5.4 million have received at least one dose.
In a press release Tuesday the state is lifting all other COVID-19 mitigation measures on Memorial Day. But the release states that people will currently be required to wear masks indoors when they are away from home.
On Tuesday, the state reported 3,133 additional cases of COVID-19 and 58 deaths. Across the pandemic, the state has reported more than 1.1 million cases and 26,334 deaths.
Allegheny County reported 222 new cases on Tuesday and 12 new deaths. That brings the county total up to 98,197 cases and 1,879 deaths.
Transmission of COVID-19 continues to decline in Allegheny County, where almost two-thirds of the adult population has already received at least one vaccine injection.
“While I still caution that we remain in a fourth wave, I think we are on the other side of the peak of this wave,” said Allegheny County Health Department [ACHD] Director Dr. Debra Bogen in a briefing Wednesday. “Cases, encouragingly, continue to decline.”
In the past week, the average daily caseload dropped to 275 a day, down from 350 the previous week and 400 the week prior. Bogen said adoption of the vaccine has a lot to do with this. But she cited other factors such as more open windows due to the change in the weather, natural immunity from the tens of thousands in the county who previously caught the virus, and potential undercounting of asymptomatic residents.
Bogen expressed excitement about new Centers for Disease Control guidelines stating fully vaccinated people have no need to wear masks outdoors unless at crowded events.
“This is encouraging news and illustrates the importance of getting vaccinated,” Bogen said. “It moves us closer to normalcy, but we need everyone to get vaccinated if we want complete normalcy.”
Allegheny County Health Department Director Dr. Debra Bogen (right) briefs the public and media via Facebook on Feb. 24, 2021, as a sign language interpreter accompanies. (Screenshot)
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