HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — The Pennsylvania Department of Health sent a reminder on Friday that the universal mask order will lift at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, June 28.
Acting Secretary of Health Alison Beam commends Pa. residents for doing their part to curb the spread of COVID-19.
“We are continuing to make progress toward stopping the spread of COVID-19 throughout the Commonwealth, as many Pennsylvanians have taken responsibility for their own health and the health of their communities by getting vaccinated,” Beam said.
But, businesses can continue to require masks if they so choose.
“Even though the universal masking order will be lifted, businesses, organizations, health care providers, and other entities maintain the option of requiring employees, guests, or customers to wear a mask, regardless of their vaccination status,” Beam said.
The Dept. of Health also continues to remind Pennsylvanians to follow CDC guidance for wearing a mask where required, such as public transportation. They say individuals who haven’t been vaccinated or are partially vaccinated are still encouraged to wear a mask in public.
“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. “The COVID-19 vaccines are the best tools we have to defeat COVID-19.”
As of Friday morning, 74.9% of Pennsylvanians 18 and older received at least one dose, and 59.4% are fully vaccinated. The original goal was to have 70% of Pa. residents fully vaccinated by this time, and it’ll be just short.
“If you have not already been vaccinated, there are plenty of options available near you. Getting as many Pennsylvanians vaccinated as possible will offer more protection against the virus for everyone and is the fastest and safest way for us to return to our normal activities,” Johnson said.
The universal masking order was first issued in April 2020, and went through updates in November 2020 and March 2021.
Local public transportation will still require masks through September due to federal guidelines.