Friday, May 14, 2021

Can we unmask if we want to?

We can unmask if we want to. 

We can leave your friends behind. 

'Cause your friends aren't vaxxed, and if they're not vaxxed,  

Then they can't unmask at this time. 

I wrote that myself. I'm not proud. 

By now, I'm sure you've heard the news from the White House and CDC: "Fully vaccinated people can stop wearing masks." But, wait! Masking mandates have been coming at us from all angles, and the federal government is just one source. 

For example, the Pennsylvania Department of Health had its own statewide mask mandate that was just extended until at least May 31 (and generally contingent on reaching a 70% vaxxed threshold). To their credit, they saw this one coming:

On March 16, 2021, the SOH amended the commonwealth’s mask order by adding language directing to the CDC’s guidance for fully vaccinated people allow for no face coverings. That means that today’s CDC guidelines automatically go into effect in Pennsylvania. Masking requirement will still be in place as otherwise provided under the CDC guidance and for unvaccinated individuals until 70 percent of Pennsylvanians age 18 and older are fully vaccinated.

See May 13, 2021 Press Release. Check your state orders, folks. We're also not done yet. Here in State College we have a local masking ordinance. It also requires masks. Did they defer to the CDC as well? [gets hopes up] . . . they did not. In fact, earlier this week they signed an ordinance that expressly states that the mask mandate is in effect "[r]egardless of the requirements set forth" in the DOH orders.  

Stay tuned though, I suspect we'll see a pretty quick change (or some "clarification") on that particular local ordinance pretty soon. 

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