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Pennsylvania issues order requiring people to wear masks in public

Pennsylvania issues order requiring people to wear masks in public

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom WolfTom WolfPennsylvania lifting COVID-19 restrictions, but not mask mandate, on Memorial Day West Virginia governor signs bill restricting transgender athletes Lawmakers brace for battles with colleagues as redistricting kicks off MORE (D) signed a new order Wednesday mandating that people in the state wear masks anywhere in public, ramping up his past guidance regarding face coverings.

The order, signed Wednesday, takes effect immediately and builds on past guidance requiring people to wear masks inside businesses. The move comes amid a rising number of coronavirus cases in the Keystone State.

“This mask-wearing order is essential to stopping the recent increase in COVID-19 cases we have seen in Pennsylvania,” Wolf said in a statement.

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“Those hot spots can be traced to situations where Pennsylvanians were not wearing masks or practicing social distancing — two practices that must be adhered to if we want to maintain the freedoms we have in place under our reopening,”  he said.

Pennsylvania has curbed the outbreak of the coronavirus within its borders and has seen a consistent decline in the number of daily new cases, though that number has risen in recent days.

Wolf credited the state’s existing health guidelines with helping to flatten the curve in Pennsylvania thus far, but he warned that Pennsylvanians should not get complacent as the state reopens.

“It is essential that Pennsylvanians wear masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” state Secretary of Health Rachel Levine said. “While cases increase in some areas, we cannot become complacent. My mask protects you, and your mask protects me. Wearing a mask shows that you care about others, and that you are committed to protecting the lives of those around you.” 

The new order comes as states across the South and Southwest see spikes in coronavirus cases, raising fears in other states that the new outbreaks will spread across the country.

New York City Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de Blasio3 shot, including 1 child, in Times Square New York area will lift capacity restrictions May 19 NYC 24-hour subway service resumes May 17 MORE announced Wednesday that he’s pausing plans to allow indoor dining to resume at restaurants, specifically citing rates of new coronavirus cases growing "worse and worse" around the country.