Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf is poised to let school districts in the Commonwealth modify or even eliminate pandemic mask mandates in the next couple of months.

The Democrat announced November 8 masking protocols for grades Kindergarten to 12 will be turned over to local districts on January 17. Mandates will remain for early learning and child care programs.

photo courtesy PennDOT

In September, during a surge in infections and hospitalizations from the highly-contagious Delta Variant, Wolf imposed a statewide mandate requiring masks in school settings,.

In his statement November 8, Wolf said: “During the announcement, my administration made clear that we would continue to reevaluate the status of the school mask mandate. Now, we are in a different place than we were in September, and it is time to prepare for a transition back to a more normal setting." 

Wolf concedes COVID isn't over but it has become part of daily life. Still, the Democrat says the knowledge gained over the past 20 months can be used to help protect the health and safety of Pennsylvanians.

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The Governor is urging residents to take all steps to combat the spread of the coronavirus and that may include mask wearing.  With 70% of residents of the Commonwealth vaccinated against COVID-19, Governor Wolf is urging remaining holdouts to get the vaccine and for parents to have their children over the age of 5, who are now eligible to get the shot, to have them vaccinated.

Meanwhile, the mandate requiring masks inside K-12 buildings, early learning and day care centers, regardless of vaccination status, remains in effect until January 17.

Answers to 25 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

Vaccinations for COVID-19 began being administered in the U.S. on Dec. 14, 2020. The quick rollout came a little more than a year after the virus was first identified in November 2019. The impressive speed with which vaccines were developed has also left a lot of people with a lot of questions. The questions range from the practical—how will I get vaccinated?—to the scientific—how do these vaccines even work?

Keep reading to discover answers to 25 common COVID-19 vaccine questions.

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