HARRISBURG, Pa. — Gov. Tom Wolf on Tuesday announced that masks will be required in all Pennsylvania K-12 schools, starting Tuesday, Sept. 7.
“It’s crucial for teachers and students to wear masks in school,” Wolf said at an afternoon news conference. “Thi si necessary to keep our kids safe and in class, where they belong.”
Wolf said failing to require masks in school hurts Pennsylvania families and ultimately the state’s economy.
“Doing nothing right now to stop Covid-19 is just not an option,” he said. “When kids get sick or have to quarantine, parents have to call off work. This is bad for our students, their families and our economy.”
The state is taking action amid a statewide resurgence of COVID-19 that is filling hospital beds just as students return to class.
Dr. Trude Haecker, a Philadelphia pediatrician, said doing everything possible to keep kids in class has to be a priority.
“This is a critical issue for our kids,” she said. “In the past 18 months, so many children have fallen woefully behind in school. The return to in-person school is crucial for their education and mental health.”
County Executive Rich Fitzgerald provided this statement following the Commonwealth’s announcement that it will implement a masking requirement for K-12 schools and childcare facilities beginning on September 7, 2021:
“The state has continued to be proactive in adjusting to the numbers and taking action based on what’s happening in the Commonwealth. With these numbers going up, it’s imperative that we keep our children in school and childcare centers open so that our residents can continue to work and keep our economy going. We appreciate the Governor’s leadership on this important health initiative.”
Dr. Debra Bogen, Director of the Allegheny County Health Department, also provided a statement following the state’s announcement that it will implement a school masking requirement effective on September 7:
“Over the past few weeks and months, we have urged school districts to follow the CDC guidelines to require masking in schools. We have been fortunate that 26 of our districts have put full mandates in place and another six have some hybrid requirement. “In the last month, we have seen increasing cases of COVID-19 among children, especially those who are not yet eligible for vaccination. Today’s action by the state ensures that we are all taking the appropriate steps to protect our children while also providing for reasonable exceptions. I wholeheartedly support them in this decision and thank them for taking this step.”