With a focus on protecting students and keeping them in classrooms, Pennsylvania Governor Wolf joined the Departments of Health, Human Services and Education to discuss the current state of COVID-19 and a new Secretary of Health order requiring masks to be worn inside K-12 school buildings, early learning programs and child care providers, which will take effect at 12:01 am on Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2021. Universal masking in schools, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend, reduces the risk that entire classrooms will need to quarantine due to a positive COVID-19 case. For eligible adolescents in Pennsylvania, 18.2 percent of children ages 12-14 are fully vaccinated and 38.3 percent of children ages 15-19 are fully vaccinated. The order applies to everyone indoors at K-12 public schools including brick and mortar and cyber charter schools, private and parochial schools, career and technical centers (CTCs), and intermediate units (IUs). The order also applies to early learning programs and childcare providers for children ages 2 and older, as recommended by the CDC.
See the initial FAQs on the new order.