Pennsylvania eases mask order to match Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance

by | Mar 23, 2021 | Articles, COVID-19, Death Care

The below information is current as of the publication date listed. Because COVID-19 response measures on all fronts are continually evolving, clients should stay alert to new developments and consult with counsel on any critical questions.

On March 22, 2021, Pennsylvania Acting Secretary of Health Alison Beam announced that she had amended the state’s mask order to align with new interim recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for people fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

The amendment adds an exception to the November 17, 2020 universal face covering order, that allows fully vaccinated people to go without a mask in non-healthcare settings in accordance with CDC guidance.

Under the amended order and CDC guidance, fully vaccinated people may visit indoors without a mask with other fully vaccinated people and with unvaccinated people from a single household that does not have individuals at risk of severe COVID-19.

However, masks are still required when fully vaccinated people are:

  • visiting indoors with unvaccinated people from a single household that has individuals at risk of severe COVID-19,
  • visiting indoors with unvaccinated people from multiple households at the same time,
  • participating in medium or large gatherings, and
  • in public settings.

In addition, under the CDC guidance, fully vaccinated employees of non-healthcare congregate settings, such as funeral homes, who have no COVID-like symptoms do not need to quarantine following an exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19. Fully vaccinated people who experience symptoms must still quarantine.

The amendment emphasized that social distancing and capacity limits for gatherings, like funeral services, must still be followed.

Under the amended order and CDC guidance, a person is considered fully vaccinated at least two weeks after they have received the second dose in a two-dose vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna), or two weeks after they have received a single-dose vaccine (Johnson & Johnson).

Saxton & Stump attorney Jason Benion is available to assist death care businesses and professionals with these and other issues regarding operations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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