Residents in six Midstate counties with ‘substantial spread’ should mask up, CDC says

Coronavirus in Pennsylvania

(WHTM) — The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has identified six Midstate counties with ‘substantial’ COVID-19 spread. Residents in Dauphin, Cumberland, Lebanon, Lancaster, York, and Adams Counties are now advised to mask up.

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The CDC recommends that people living in counties with substantial spread should wear masks inside even if they are vaccinated. Areas of substantial spread are defined as having 50 to 100 cases per 100,000 and 8% to 10% of people tested are positive.

As of early August, there is no mask mandate in Pennsylvania and the Wolf Administration has said it does not plan on issuing another one.

Instead, the administration is leaving that decision to local governments, school districts, and businesses.

Senator Art Haywood serves on the PA Vaccine Task Force and thinks a masking mandate should be considered, especially for counties where there is a substantial spread.

“I’m a big believer in personal responsibility but also community impact and the community impact of the spread of covid-19 means in my opinion, that we often need rules that go beyond a personal choice, masking in one such rule, even though I know folks don’t want to do it, it does contain the spread,” Haywood said.

Issuing a requirement is up to school districts, businesses, and local municipal governments. Counties can only require masking for their own employees and facilities.

Dr. Mark Goedecker says if the virus continues to spread, there’s a risk of additional variants.

“With delta variant, we know it spreads a lot easier but it doesn’t necessarily make people sicker,” Dr. Mark Goedecker, Chief Medical Officer of Primary Care for WellSpan Health said. “We could get one that makes people sicker and we could have more and more hospitalizations and more deaths.”

In the past week, leaders in York City announced that masks would be required for all staff and visitors inside City Hall after new cases jumped 300% over the past week

Some national retailers like Wegmans are requiring their employees to wear masks and strongly recommend shoppers do the same.

Health officials say while people who are vaccinated can spread the virus, the majority of the spread comes from people who are unvaccinated. 

You can learn more about substantial spread around the country by clicking here.

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