(WKBN) – As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf recommends all Pennsylvanians wear masks when they leave their homes.
As of Friday afternoon, the Pennsylvania Department of Health confirmed 8,420 COVID-19 cases in the state. There have also been 102 coronavirus-related deaths.
Confirmed cases have not slowed down in the state and Wolf said more intense measures need to be taken to stop the spread of the virus.
“Two days ago, I amplified our social distancing efforts by instituting a statewide stay-at-home order and today I am asking all Pennsylvanians to wear a mask anytime they leave their houses,” Wolf said. “Masks help prevent people from sharing illnesses but they don’t do a great job at keeping people from getting sick and they’re not foolproof, so it is critical that our first act is to ask ourselves if we really need to leave our house. If we don’t really, truly need to leave, then we shouldn’t.”
“You don’t need a surgical mask — we need those for our health care workers and first responders,” said Dr. Rachel Levine, Secretary of Health. “We have guidance on universal masking on our website, including instructions on how to make your own mask using materials you have at home.”
The governor’s stay-at-home order asked Pennsylvania residents in all 67 counties to not leave their house unless it’s for life-sustaining reasons. During Friday’s press conference, Wolf added that wearing a mask during those life-sustaining trips needs to be the new norm.
“Wearing a mask will help us cut down the possibility that we might be infecting an innocent bystander, like the grocery store cashier, the pharmacist or someone stocking shelves,” Wolf said. “These people are keeping us alive by getting us the supplies we need. We owe it to them to do everything we can to keep them safe. Right now, that means wearing a mask.”