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Allegheny County mask proposal killed at Tuesday’s council meeting

PITTSBURGH — A proposal to require people to wear masks at all indoor events and some outdoor events in Allegheny County died at Tuesday evening’s council meeting.

Under the new proposal, sponsored by council members Bethany Hallam and Olivia Bennett, people would have been required to wear masks at any outdoor gathering of more than 250 people. There could also have been fines.

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As of right now, the Allegheny County Health Department would have to make the decision to mandate masks again, unless there are new state or federal guidelines imposed.

But social media users were quick to point out that according to co-sponsor Hallam’s Twitter account, she traveled to Buffalo, New York, over the weekend for the Pittsburgh Steelers game. She posted photos of herself at the stadium without a mask on, leading to several comments.

Hallam responded Monday, releasing a statement that said, “I was in Buffalo and their rules are to wear a mask everywhere except in your seats! Our cases per capita are much higher in Allegheny County so we need stricter measures to protect those who are unable to receive the vaccine, such as children and immunocompromised folks.”

The following mask policy is posted on the Bills’ website: “Staff and guests who are not fully vaccinated must wear a mask at all times. Unvaccinated guests may remove their mask only when taking a sip of a drink or a bite of food. Per Erie County guidelines, masks or facial coverings are required regardless of vaccination status when visiting the indoor settings at Highmark Stadium. This includes the 100 and 300 level concourses, suites, restrooms and other enclosed spaces. Seating will not be designated by vaccination status.”