Pennsylvania to lift masking order Monday

by PublicSource

Pennsylvania is lifting its masking order at 12:01 a.m. on Monday. The Department of Health said it advises residents to follow separate masking requirements by businesses or workplaces or healthcare organizations. Federal masking requirements remain in place for travelers.

“As we shift to wearing masks less often, it is important to remain resilient in the fight against COVID-19, just as we have done together over the last year and a half,” Acting Physician General Dr. Denise Johnson said in a statement Friday.

The state touts the success and importance of vaccination. To date, 74.9% of adult Pennsylvanians have received their first vaccine dose and 59.4% are fully vaccinated. Pennsylvania ranks 8th nationally in the number of first doses administered by percentage of population.

Allegheny County, June 16 briefing

Following a steady local trend of declining COVID-19 transmission, the Allegheny County Health Department [ACHD] reported an average of 25 new COVID-19 cases a day in the past two weeks, Dr. Debra Bogen said in a June 16 press briefing. 

“Which is really remarkable, when you consider that just two and a half months ago, we were firmly entrenched in a fourth wave and experiencing daily cases of around 500 a day,” Bogen said. “So, once again, the ‘why’ is not a mystery: It’s the vaccines.”

Among those fully vaccinated, the county is aware of 420 COVID-19 cases, 11 hospitalizations due to the virus and five deaths from the virus, according to Bogen. 

More than 75% of the adult population has been at least partially vaccinated, County Executive Rich Fitzgerald said at the briefing. He applauded initiatives by the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium to give away free tickets to those who get vaccinated. 

“It’s wonderful to see so many people coming together to work to get us as many people vaccinated as we can to get us back to the normalcy,” Fitzgerald said. 

Bogen underscored how vaccines are allowing residents to return to more normal life.

“People are venturing outside again,” Bogen said. “They’re filling restaurants and enjoying arts festivals and the parks, they’re going to ball games and concerts, and they’re really rediscovering their sense of comfort. And that’s what vaccines bring: comfort.” 

Pennsylvania to lift masking order Monday

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