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Pittsburgh doctor weighs in on Gov. Wolf’s mask mandate for Pennsylvania employees

PITTSBURGH — The initial mask mandate was lifted in June for people that work for the state of Pennsylvania, but with cases on the rise again, Gov. Tom Wolf decided it’s time to mask up again.

“Right now, we’re in a pandemic of the unvaccinated where the delta variant is going to find them no matter what because it is a more contagious version of this virus,” he said.

>>RELATED NEWS: Pennsylvania’s mask order has been lifted

Starting Monday, all employees and contracted staff of the Keystone State will be required to wear a mask indoors regardless of vaccination status.

This move comes in response to the rising COVID-19 cases. In a memo, the governor said masking up again will help reduce the potential spread in workplaces.

Infectious disease expert Dr. Amesh Adalja believes Wolf should go a step further.

“What I think Gov. Wolf should do is mandate the vaccine for state employees. That’s something that would go a long way toward controlling the pandemic not only among state employees but also among the general population,” Adalja said.

Earlier this month, the governor announced all state workers employed in health care facilities or other high-risk settings will be required to get vaccinated or be tested weekly for the virus.

Similar moves have been made here in Allegheny County. Moving forward, if you want to work for the county, you’ll have to get vaccinated.

“I think what we have to do is really emphasize the way to keep safe from it is to get as high a level of vaccination as possible in the community.”

Starting Tuesday, the Allegheny County Health Department will resume 24-hour COVID-19 updates.