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State Senate President, Other Parents Sue Over Statewide School Mask Mandate

By: KDKA-TV News Staff

HARRISBURG (KDKA) - State Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman and several other parents are suing over the statewide school mask mandate.

The group is suing the acting secretary of the Pennsylvania Health Department, claiming she didn't have the authority to issue the mask mandate.

Gov. Tom Wolf announced earlier this week that masks will be required in all K-12 schools starting Tuesday. They'll also be required inside early learning programs and child care providers. The order will not apply to student-athletes while they're playing.

Pennsylvania is now averaging more than 3,200 new, confirmed COVID-19 infections daily, about 20 times the number it was reporting on an average day in early July. Hospitalizations are up sevenfold since July and deaths have doubled in two weeks.

Acting Health Secretary Alison Beam pointed to the more contagious delta variant, saying it accounts for more than 98% of the state's COVID-19 cases.

"I preferred for local school boards to make this decision," said Wolf when he announced the mandate. "Unfortunately, an aggressive nationwide campaign is spreading misinformation about mask-wearing and pressuring and intimidating school districts to reject mask policies that will keep kids safe and in school. As we see cases among children increase in Pennsylvania and throughout the country, this is especially dangerous and challenging as we seek to keep kids in school and maintain a safe and healthy learning environment."

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