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Pennsylvania’s face coverings order modified to align with CDC guidance

PITTSBURGH — The Pennsylvania Department of Health has amended its face coverings order to align with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

According to the CDC, there are several activities that fully vaccinated people can resume. They include:

  • Visiting with other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing
  • Visiting with unvaccinated people from a single household who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 disease indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing
  • Refraining from quarantine and testing following a known exposure, if asymptomatic

“People are considered fully vaccinated for COVID-19 more than two weeks after they have received the second dose in a two-dose series or more than two weeks after they have received a single-dose vaccine,” a news release from the Health Department stated.

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Vaccinated people should still be mindful of the potential risk of transmitting the virus to others. In public, they should still wear masks and keep physical distance.

The Health Department said vaccinated people should continue to avoid medium- and large-sized in-person gatherings, get tested if they experience COVID-19 symptoms, follow guidance issued by employers and follow travel requirements and recommendations.

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The Health Department’s amended order went into effect on March 17 and will remain in effect until further notice.

“The vaccines that are currently available across the state and country are highly effective at protecting vaccinated people against severe and symptomatic COVID-19,” Acting Secretary of Health Alison Beam said in a statement. “Research has shown that fully vaccinated people are less likely to have asymptomatic infection and potentially less likely to spread the virus that causes COVID-19 to others. However, there is still more to learn about how long protection lasts and how much vaccines protect against new variants of the virus, so some prevention measures will continue to be in place for all people, regardless of their vaccination status.”

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