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Governor Wolf Announces Indoor Mask Mandate for Schools

August 31, 2021

Citing the rise of the Delta variant, the Wolf Administration this afternoon announced a requirement for indoor face coverings in K-12 schools, early learning settings, and child care centers.

The order takes effect on Tuesday, September 7, 2021, Wolf Administration officials said.

The increasing spread of COVID-19 and the desire to keep children in school in-person this fall contributed to the decision, Governor Wolf said during a press briefing today.

The Wolf Administration’s order outlines exceptions to the new face-covering requirement for people participating in school sports or outdoor activities, children under 2, and people with certain medical conditions.

In statements, Republican leaders in the General Assembly expressed disappointment at the statewide order, preferring an approach favoring local control.

Public health officials recommend a multi-layered approach to safely preserve in-person instruction this fall, including masking, screening and testing, access to vaccines, improved ventilation, and quarantine protocols, said Trude Haecker, MD, a general pediatrician with the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and president of the Pennsylvania chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

HAP will continue to monitor COVID-19 public health developments and provide updates to members. For more information, contact Robert Shipp III, PhD, BSN, RN, NEA-BC, HAP’s vice president, population health and clinical affairs.