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PA now requiring some residents wear masks in their own homes

People in a crowd wearing face masks. (Dreamstime/TNS)
November 18, 2020

Pennsylvania residents are now required to wear masks in private homes when around non-household members, according to a new order that officials said is meant to address an increase in COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations.

On Tuesday, the Pennsylvania Health Department tweeted the new order that included stricter mask requirements, including wearing one inside private homes.

“Strengthening masking order. Masks are still required. Indoors: masks are now required anytime you’re with people outside of your household, even if you’re socially distant,” the tweet stated. “Applies to all indoor facilities [and] if you have people in your home not part of your household.”

The Health Department also tweeted out that anyone visiting the state must be tested for the virus within 72 hours prior to entering Pennsylvania. Residents of Pennsylvania are also required to get a test before returning to the state, excluding those who commute to and from another state for work or medical needs.

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Pennsylvania has already implemented a statewide mask mandate, restrictions on indoor and outdoor gatherings, as well as occupancy restrictions at bars and restaurants.

The new orders, however, take the mandate to a new level, requiring masks outside where maintaining social distancing of at least six feet isn’t possible, and inside with guests even if social distancing is maintained.

According to the Pennsylvania Health Department website, there have been 275,513 total cases in the state and 9,465 deaths associated with the virus. Over 2.5 million tests for COVID-19 have come back negative in Pennsylvania. The state’s population is 12.8 million, according to the 2019 census.

Local and state government officials across the United States have been increasing restrictions in recent weeks. On Monday, Philadelphia said all indoor gatherings and indoor dining would be banned, and casinos, gyms, museums, and libraries would be closed.

Democrat Governor Tom Wolf implemented a stay-at-home order and closed businesses labeled “non-life-sustaining” earlier this year. Months after the lockdown was ordered, a judge ruled Wolf’s restrictions unconstitutional.

In Oregon, jail time and hefty fines could be the penalty for violators of Democrat Oregon Gov. Kate Brown’s two-week “freeze” limiting the size of social gatherings to six people and more. Those who fail to comply with the new rules could face fines up to $1,250 or spend up to a month behind bars, The Oregonian reported.