Wolf: All Pennsylvanians Should Wear Masks to Keep Essential Workers Safe

AP Photo/Matt Rourke

By Kimberly Lawson

April 3, 2020

“Wearing a mask will help us cut down the possibility that we might be infecting an innocent bystander, like that grocery store cashier, the pharmacist, or someone stocking shelves.”

Pennsylvania residents should wear a cloth mask in public to help slow the spread of the coronavirus, the governor said Friday, as the state recorded another single-day high in new cases and passed 100 deaths.

Gov. Tom Wolf, noting the federal government is readying guidance on the wearing of masks, urged Pennsylvanians to make their own and wear them when they go to the grocery store, pharmacy and other places where people congregate.

“Wearing a mask will help us cut down the possibility that we might be infecting an innocent bystander, like that grocery store cashier, the pharmacist, or someone stocking shelves,” he said in a video news conference. “These folks 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.”

Wolf urged residents to heed his order to remain at home, noting that masks “are not foolproof. So it’s critical our first act is to ask if we really need to leave our house.”

He added that residents should refrain from buying the short-supply N95 respirator masks worn by healthcare workers.

The Department of Health posted guidance on masks on its website.

RELATED: Gov. Wolf: All Pennsylvanians Now Under Stay-At-Home Order

In related news, Philadelphia-based rapper Meek Mill’s criminal justice reform group is donating 100,000 face masks to some of the nation’s most notorious jails and prisons. The celebrity-backed REFORM Alliance announced the donation Friday and said 50,000 masks will go to the Rikers Island jail complex in New York City, 40,000 will be sent to the Tennessee Department of Correction, and 5,000 are headed to the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman.

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