Mask-wearing in Pennsylvania could last until a vaccine develops


HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Until there’s a vaccine for Covid-19, maybe get used to wearing a face mask in public.

Governor Tom Wolf didn’t make a formal announcement on Monday saying so, although he hinted as much during a press conference on Monday.

“I’m sort of thinking this is until we get a vaccine, but I don’t have any real formal goal there,” Wolf said, adding, “This is something that, as we get into infectious disease, and knows when this is going to end, we probably ought to be thinking about this, just to keep each other safe.”

According to the governor, models suggest states, where people wear masks, have lower infection rates. He also said that the commonwealth could take notes from countries where people have worn masks for years to avoid getting sick.

“The recent uptick in cases in southwest Pennsylvania have been traced to people not wearing masks in public places such as bars and restaurants,” Wolf said in a release. “Research tells us that masks, while not perfect, make a difference in the spread of COVID-19 and are a simple and effective way to help protect ourselves and others.”

State Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine previously signed an order mandating mask-wearing.

Some experts are hopeful that a vaccine could be developed by year’s end. Just today, the state Health Department reported 450 new cases of coronavirus, with nearly half in the Pittsburgh area.

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