The Lead

Regardless of vaccination status, Wolf orders state employees to wear masks

By: - August 20, 2021 3:46 pm

Gov. Tom Wolf wears a mask during a briefing at the Pennsylvania Emergency Management headquarters in Harrisburg. Source: Commonwealth Media Services.

Gov. Tom Wolf has ordered Pennsylvania state employees to once again wear masks at work starting Monday.

All state employees, vaccinated or not, must wear a face covering while working indoors, the administration said in an email to staff on Friday morning.

“With nearly all Pennsylvania counties now with high or substantial levels of COVID-19 in their communities, the commonwealth will be reinstating measures to reduce potential spread in our workplaces,” the email reads.

Visitors to state offices also should be encouraged to wear a mask, but will not be required to do so, the email adds.

Wolf announced earlier this month that he’d give a paid day off to state employees who get vaccinated as well. The extra day off is also available to those who already were vaccinated.

The order only applies to the state’s roughly 115,000 employees, as well as state contractors. It does not apply to school districts.

“This is an employment policy for commonwealth employees and contracted staff under the governor’s jurisdiction,” Wolf spokesperson Daniel Egan said in an email. “The commonwealth continues to encourage all Pennsylvanians to follow CDC guidelines, including wearing masks indoors in counties with high or substantial rates of COVID-19 transmission.”

COVID-19 cases have been on the rise in Pennsylvania, but are still low compared to other states.

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Stephen Caruso
Stephen Caruso

Stephen Caruso is a former senior reporter with Pennsylvania Capital-Star. Before working with the Capital-Star he covered Pennsylvania state government for The PLS Reporter.