Business owners and health experts weigh in on lifting of Pennsylvania’s mask mandate

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Pennsylvania will be lifting its mask mandate starting Monday.

While business owners say they’re thrilled over the news, medical experts say this mandate comes too soon and could cause another outbreak of COVID-19.

While the mask mandate will go into effect on Monday with nearly 60% of the adults fully vaccinated, businesses can still require you to wear one.

Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Howard Nadworny says the idea of getting rid of masks sounds good, but we are likely to see more COVID-19 cases in the coming months.

“I am concerned that we are just starting to enter a phase with a much more highly contagious variant, for which the only protection against infection is either wearing a mask or being vaccinated. Doing away with a mask mandate for those people who are unvaccinated is, I think, unwise.” Dr. Nadworny said.

EmergyCare will allow workers to go unmasked if they are fully vaccinated.

“But from an operational perspective in the field and treating patients, we are still going to keep the PPE guidelines in place and continue to mask.” said David Basnak.

Basnak says they will stay cautious because they don’t know if there will be another surge of COVID-19 cases.

“If everybody remembers the numbers stayed low for last summer. Once we hit those fall months again, that’s when we saw the spike, so we will be guarded throughout the season.” Basnak said.

John Melody, owner of U Pick 6 Public House, says the news is a sigh of relief.

“It sure is. I mean, it’s been a long time and, I have said it time and time again, it’s been well documented how it’s affected our business for the past 15 to 18 months and this is another step in the right direction for us to get back to what we like to do.” Melody said.

However, the State Department of Health says while the masking order is lifted, businesses, organizations, health care providers and other entities still have the option of requiring employees, guests, or customers to wear a mask regardless of their vaccination status.

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