Allegheny County leaders respond to indoor mask mandate reinstatement in Philadelphia

ALLEGHENY COUNTY, Pa. — As of right now, there will not be a mask mandate here in Allegheny County, but leaders are saying they want people to get vaccinated and follow CDC guidance.

Leaders in Philadelphia are bringing back the mask mandate for all indoor public spaces, starting Monday, April 18.

“I think mask mandates by government authorities really don’t have a place at this stage in the pandemic. It’s unlikely that we’ll see this anywhere else in Pennsylvania,” said infectious disease expert Dr. Amesh Adlajah.

Dr. Adaljah says that, at this stage in the pandemic, mask mandates are no longer needed. He also says that while the BA.2 subvariant of Covid 19 cases could be increasing, it’s not translating into deaths or hospitalizations.

“We’ve had bigger surges in the past with Omicron without a mask mandate put into place. So I think Philadelphia is a little bit of an outliner when it comes to Pennsylvania,” said Adlajah.

According to the Allegheny County Health Department’s website, as of April 8, we have had a  seven-day rolling average of 54 new cases, with zero hospitalizations and deaths. The Health Department also tells Channel 11 that they do not have any plans to implement a mask mandate.

They are also encouraging people to follow CDC guidance.

However, mask mandates are still a hot topic here in southwestern Pennsylvania.

“I think it’s freedom. We should have the choice. I mean they haven’t proven anything really. Do they work, don’t they work? It should be up to you or me,” said Bob Thomas.

“I’m wearing my masks because I know it’s people out here that have COVID and I’d rather protect myself than not protect myself,” said Kennie Bryant.

“I’ve always been for masking and I think if it helps us I’m for it. I think we shouldn’t make up our own minds. I always believe in the doctors,” said Nancy Timet.