Wolf

Gov. Tom Wolf, at podium, speaks during news conference addressing gun violence, in Philadelphia, Friday, April 23, 2021. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

HARRISBURG  -- Gov. Tom Wolf will lift all COVID-19 mitigation measures, except the state mask-wearing requirement by Memorial Day.

The current order requiring Pennsylvanians to wear masks will be lifted when 70% of Pennsylvanians age 18 and older are fully vaccinated, the administration announced today.

As of today,  just over 50% of Pennsylvanians 16-and-older have gotten at least one shot of a COVID vaccine, according to the Department of Health.

“We continue to make significant progress in the fight to stop the spread of COVID-19 and as more Pennsylvania adults get vaccinated and guidance from the CDC evolves, we can continue to move forward with our reopening efforts,” the Department of Health Acting Secretary Alison Beam said. “I encourage Pennsylvanians to take the critical steps needed to put this pandemic behind us by getting vaccinated, follow through with both doses if you receive the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines, and continue to take steps like masking, frequent hand washing and sanitizing and social distancing.”

The announcement comes a day after Wolf told reporters he wasn’t sure how many Pennsylvanians would need to be vaccinated before state officials determined it was safe to relax restrictions.

“We want to get to that point where we feel safe,” Wolf said Monday.

Requirements such as testing and reporting new cases will remain in place for hospitals and long-term care facilities. Maintaining requirements for hospitals and long-term care facilities will allow Pennsylvania to continue to closely monitor COVID-19 spread while lifting other restrictions.

The Department of Health recommends that Pennsylvanians refer to CDC guidelines and recommendations regarding ongoing COVID-19 safety measures and procedures.

These updates will not prevent municipalities and school districts from continuing and implementing stricter mitigation efforts.

“With millions of Pennsylvanians getting vaccinated, it’s time to plan the transition back to normal,” said Sen. Art Haywood, D-Philadelphia, a member of the legislative task force Wolf established to help plan the state’s vaccine rollout.

"Hospitalizations and deaths are down. This action today is a key step forward,” Haywood said.

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