Pennsylvania has expanded its mask rule for residents, now mandating that individuals who are not part of the same household are required to wear a mask in all indoor spaces, including private residences.
The new regulation came into effect yesterday following an announcement from the Keystone State's transgender Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine. Citing a spread of the virus this fall that has been attributed to small indoor gatherings, Dr. Levine attempted to explain the new rule by suggesting that people will face the consequences of not wearing a mask by seeing the virus spread widely through their community.
Dr. Levine added that “officials are relying on voluntary compliance rather than on enforcement,” in hopes that Pennsylvania residents would enforce the new restrictions themselves.
The order also required any individual over two years old to wear a mask outdoors when they are outdoors with a person who is not of their household and were “unable to maintain sustained physical distance.” Another rule laid out in the order will requiring out-of-state travellers, as well as returning residents, test negative for COVID-19 at some point 72 hours prior to arriving in the state.
People who refuse to be tested will instead be forced to quarantine for 14 days.
Pennsylvania's new COVID rules come as the state is experiencing a resurgence in the virus, with more than 100 deaths reported on November 18, reaching three figures for the first time since May.