Governor Wolf Calls for School Mask Mandate in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania schools should have a statewide mask requirement in all classrooms, Governor Tom Wolf said on Wednesday.
Governor Wolf asked the state senate to pass legislation that would require all Pennsylvania's students to wear a mask when they return to school. It's not clear how those lawmakers will react to the request from the governor.
Wolf made the request in a letter to some of the state's leaders including Senate President Pro Temper Jake Corman.
Wolf is not able to issue such a mandate himself after voters passed a measure curtailing the governor's powers during the pandemic. It was a move pushed by GOP lawmakers who called some of Wolf's COVID-19 restrictions unconstitutional.
In today's letter, Wolf said that he has “become increasingly concerned about misinformation being spread to try to discredit a school district's clear ability to implement masking."
He also said he is concerned about "local control being usurped by the threat — implicit or explicit — of political consequences for making sound public health and education decisions.”
He is urging lawmakers in Harrisburg to pass the legislation quickly to require masks in schools, amid the surging delta variant of the COVID-19 virus.
A similar measure is already in place for New Jersey. That state's governor, Phil Murphy, has already signed an order requiring that masks be worn in all of the state's public and private schools for the start of the 2021-2022 school year.