Pennsylvania legislators join governor in call for masking

Tom Wolf

File-This feb. 5, 2019, file photo shows the dome of the Pennsylvania Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa. A bill that would have prohibited abortions because of a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome was vetoed Thursday, Nov. 21, 2019, by Pennsylvania’s Democratic governor. One day after it passed the Republican-controlled Legislature, Gov. Tom Wolf made good on a promise and rejected the legislation. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Several state and federal officials have joined Governor Tom Wolf’s call for Pennsylvanians to wear a mask and help curb the spread of Covid-19.

“As we increasingly resume public activities in our commonwealth, we need to remain vigilant about taking precautions, especially wearing a mask that covers our noses and mouths while around other people,” Wolf said in a release. “This is an easy, yet important action that has been shown by research to reduce the spread of Covid-19.”

The governor also hinted during a press conference on Monday that mask-wearing could be mandatory until a vaccine releases.

“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 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has advised people to wear a cloth mask to help slow the spread of Covid-19. The CDC has also offered directions for easy-to-make masks, with patterns for sew and no-sew masks made from everyday household materials.

“Public health experts continue to recommend mask-wearing in public, and ongoing research continues to support that recommendation,” said U.S. Sen. Bob Casey. “When you wear a mask, you are sending a clear message to others in your community that you care about them and their well-being as much as your own. I know that if we each do our part, we will beat this virus and be able to start safely rebuilding together.”

“Since late March, I have been making the case for Pennsylvanians to wear masks when they venture out,” said U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey. “As the commonwealth continues to re-open, mask wearing has taken on increased significance, as studies continue to affirm that masks helps slow the spread of the coronavirus. Put simply, wearing a mask is an important step that we, as Pennsylvanians, can take to protect one another – as my mask protects you, and your mask protects me.”

“The simple act of wearing a mask is how we protect everyone’s health and the fastest course to restoring our economy,” said state Sen. Pam Iovino. “Wearing a mask demonstrates concern for the welfare of all of us and how we get through this crisis together.”

“Wearing a mask is vital to protect the health and safety of our community,” said state Rep. Melissa Shusterman.  “As our state moves back to the green phase, it is the most important step we can take to preserve the progress we’ve made as a state through this crisis. As Pennsylvanians, we all need to participate in wearing masks to care for our neighbors, and so that our economy and state can continue to make a strong recovery.”

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

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