By: KDKA-TV News Staff
HARRISBURG (KDKA) — The Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine clarified yesterday’s announcement of a mask requirement for students in schools during a press conference on Tuesday.
Dr. Levine said yesterday’s requirement is not anything “new” but that they wanted to ensure schools knew exactly what the state Health Department is requiring of them for this academic year.
“But what we have heard is that some of the language wasn’t as clear as it could be, and so we wanted to make sure that we were as clear as possible and so that was sort of the evolution of how this came out,” Dr. Levine said. “It’s really nothing new, it’s not different from what I’ve been talking about for months and months, is that everybody should wear a mask when they’re in public and that, of course, includes children in school. And so that’s why we put it out yesterday to ensure that we were crystal clear.”
PSBA broke the news on Twitter and their website yesterday.
Just announced via @PADeptofEd in cooperation with the Department of Health: All students to wear face coverings at all times, while in school. This extends to instances when students and staff are able to maintain a six-foot social distance. Read more on https://t.co/VzcoJcDdrs. pic.twitter.com/ZScSTvmkqo
— Pa School Boards Asn (@PSBA) August 17, 2020
“The Pennsylvania Department of Education in cooperation with the Department of Health announced today, the requirement of all students to wear face coverings at all times, while in school. This is an update from the prior recommendation, in that, the requirement extends to instances when students and staff are able to maintain an appropriate six-foot social distance. The update is based on the American Academy of Pediatrics’ (AAP) updated guidance strongly recommending children age two and older should wear face coverings at all times to help mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus,” PSBA said on their website.
“It is very clear that young people can spread this virus. We want to protect against … outbreaks,” Dr. Levine said. “We wanted to make sure our advice was crystal clear. We want the young people to be wearing masks.”