Erie County Health Department declares universal masking mandate in all schools after seeing high COVID case numbers


Erie County has declared a universal masking mandate in all schools after seeing high COVID cases.

Meanwhile, COVID experts from Pittsburgh speak out after the FDA gives the green light to the Pfizer vaccine.

Here is what this could mean for you and your child.

It isn’t clear by officials if this means there could be a vaccine mandate, but the county is confident to say that the universal masking in schools will protect many.

The Erie County Health Department said that almost 500 Erie residents died of COVID.

The rise of COVID cases is not over as the Erie County Health Department declared universal masking for students in grades K through 12.

“This universal masking order for schools is truly about saving lives. We all must use the tools we have to slow the spread of COVID-19 within our community,” said Kathy Dahlkemper, Erie County Executive.

Meanwhile, the approval of the Pfizer vaccine by the FDA may lead the county to allow schools, businesses, and universities to possibly adopt vaccine mandates.

Could this happen in Erie?

“At this point we are not looking at any vaccine mandate to implement here in Erie County,” said Dahlkemper.

Experts from UPMC in Pittsburgh said that the FDA’s vaccine approval could lead others to make their own regulations.

“What it will do is help those who are considering a mandate to run their own in becoming vaccinated because they’ve made that decision,” said Dr. David M. Yealy, MD, UPMC of Pittsburgh.

Although the Moderna and J&J vaccine are still waiting for the same approval, Pfizer was given Monday, the experts of Pittsburgh are confident they’ll be approved.

“This won’t be the last time talking about the update and guidance to the vaccines we will hear in the future about approvals from other vaccines and we will hear about expanding age groups,” said Dr. Graham Snyder, MD, MS, UPMC of Pittsburgh.

The Erie County Health Department encourages the ages of 16 and up to get vaccinated.

Dahlkemper said that additional measures may be necessary if cases get worse.

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