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May 27, 2021

Pennsylvania to lift COVID-19 mask mandate ahead of Fourth of July

The rule could be eased even sooner if 70% of the state's adult population is fully vaccinated before the end of June

Government COVID-19
Pennsylvania mask mandate Mika Baumeister/Unsplash

Pennsylvania has still required unvaccinated people to wear face masks in public settings.

Face masks will no longer be required in Pennsylvania when people gather together to celebrate the Fourth of July later this summer.

The state's mask mandate will be lifted by June 28 or when 70% of Pennsylvania's adult population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, whichever comes first, Acting Health Sec. Alison Beam said Thursday.

The state's updated timeline for lifting its mask order comes as 70% of Pennsylvania adults have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose. Beam said that was "a strong indicator" that 70% of the state's adult population will be fully vaccinated by the end of June.

"Pennsylvanians are realizing that they have the power to stop COVID-19 and they are stepping up to get vaccinated," Beam said. "The Department of Health will continue to make getting a vaccine as convenient as possible by making it widely available and supporting equitable and effective efforts to reach every Pennsylvanian who wants it."

More than 10.3 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in Pennsylvania, according to the state health department. Over 4.5 million people are fully vaccinated across the state, while more than 6.1 million residents have received at least one dose. More than 52% of Pennsylvania adults are fully vaccinated. Over 57% of the state's entire population has received at least one dose, which includes adolescents ages 12-17 years old.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said fully vaccinated Americans no longer need to wear masks in most indoor and outdoor settings

In response, Pennsylvania only lifted its mask mandate for people who were fully vaccinated against COVID-19. It had originally planned to lift its mask mandate entirely once 70% of the state's adult population had been fully vaccinated.

But Pennsylvania still requires unvaccinated people to wear face masks in public settings until the state reaches the 70% fully-vaccinated threshold.

Most of Pennsylvania's COVID-19 restrictions are set to expire this coming Monday.

Philadelphia ended its outdoor mask mandate last Friday. People who have not been vaccinated aren't required to wear them in outdoor settings, but they are strongly urged to do so.

The city said that its indoor mask mandate will remain in place until at least June 11, when most of Philly's COVID-19 restrictions are scheduled to be lifted.

The city's health department said that it will evaluate COVID-19 transmission metrics in early June before deciding whether to remove the indoor mask mandate. The guidance for dropping masks would only apply to people who are fully vaccinated. People who are not vaccinated would still need to wear a mask indoors.

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