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Gov. Tom Wolf Says He's Not Considering Another Statewide Mask Mandate

By: KDKA-TV News Staff

HARRISBURG (KDKA) - Gov. Tom Wolf says he's not considering another statewide mask mandate, instead pointing to vaccines as a way to stem the spread of the more contagious COVID-19 delta variant.

"I'm not considering any statewide mandate. I understand companies, and especially health care institutions, are thinking about that and they ought to be, they're free to do that. But there isn't any state mandate," Wolf said on the KDKA Radio Morning Show Tuesday.

Pennsylvania's statewide mask mandated was lifted on its June 28 deadline. Now Wolf says the state's strategy for fighting the virus is to get shots into arms.

"We did a masking mandate back when we didn't have a vaccine, back in the early days, but we're not there now. People have the ability as individuals to make the decision to get a vaccine, and if they do that, that's protection," he said.

His comments come as the CDC is expected to backpedal on its masking guidance, recommending some vaccinated people mask up in certain situations. Two months ago, the CDC said most fully vaccinated people could go maskless indoors.

Health officials say rising cases are fueled by unvaccinated Americans and the delta variant. It's a "concerning but unsurprising" pattern seen across the nation and mirrored in Pittsburgh, Allegheny County's health director said last week.

On Sunday, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infections diseases expert, said recommending that the vaccinated wear masks again was "under active consideration" and that the U.S. was headed "in the wrong direction."

In Pennsylvania, just over 62% of adults are fully vaccinated. The virus has killed more than 27,000 Pennsylvanians.

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