Pennsylvania is planning to take additional steps to address a sharp increase in coronavirus infections and hospitalizations, including requiring masks to be worn indoors with limited exceptions, officials said Tuesday.
In addition, starting Friday, anyone who enters Pennsylvania must be tested at least 72 hours before arrival, and if they can or do not get a test, they must quarantine for 14 days. The order does not apply to people who commute to neighboring states for work or health care, officials said, and will be largely self-enforced.
Pennsylvania already has a statewide mask mandate, limits on indoor and outdoor gatherings and occupancy restrictions at bars and restaurants.
But the new rules go even further. Masks are required outside where it isn’t possible to maintain at least a six-foot distance from others, according to the order, and inside where people from multiple households are gathering, even if they can maintain a social distance.
Like the rest of the nation, Pennsylvania has seen coronavirus infections explode in recent weeks. The state is reporting more than 5,000 new infections per day, up more than 115% in just two weeks, and hospitalizations and the percentage of tests coming back positive are up sharply. Deaths are on the rise, as well.
Governors and mayors around the country have been tightening restrictions in response to the worsening pandemic.
On Monday, Philadelphia said it would ban indoor gatherings and indoor dining and shutter casinos, gyms, museums and libraries.
Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf imposed a state-at-home order and shuttered businesses deemed “non-life-sustaining” early in the pandemic. In September though, a judge ruled Wolf’s pandemic restrictions unconstitutional.