With COVID cases at a nearly two-month high, Casey, Toomey join Wolf to urge Pa. residents to wear masks

    U.S. Sens. Bob Casey (D) and Pat Toomey (R) of Pennsylvania (Capital-Star file)

    Pennsylvania’s two United States senators are urging state residents to wear masks when they’re out in public to slow the spread of COVID-19.

    “Public health experts continue to recommend mask-wearing in public, and ongoing research continues to support that recommendation,” U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., said in a statement released by Gov. Tom Wolf’s office. “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.”

    Casey’s Republican counterpart, U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, offered a similar sentiment.

    “Since late March, I have been making the case for Pennsylvanians to wear masks when they venture out,” said U.S. Toomey said. “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.”

    As of midday Tuesday, the state Health Department confirmed 995 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 91,299 positive cases, with 6,787 confirmed fatalities. The tally marked the largest, single day increase in two months, PennLive reported.

    The Wolf administration ordered mandatory masking for public spaces on July 1. Prior to that, Pennsylvanians were only required to wear a mask when entering businesses. Otherwise, the state encouraged, but did not mandate, wearing masks outside of the home.

    “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,” said Gov. Wolf said Tuesday. “This is an easy, yet important action that has been shown by research to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

    John L. Micek
    John L. Micek is the Pennsylvania Capital-Star's Editor-in-Chief. He's been covering Pennsylvania politics for more than 20 years and most recently served as Opinion Editor at PennLive/The Patriot-News in Harrisburg, Pa. Micek's commentary is syndicated to more than 800 newspapers nationwide by Cagle Syndicate. And he's a regular contributor to a host of broadcast outlets in Pennsylvania and abroad.