PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Pennsylvania will not be issuing an indoor mask mandate for its schools like New Jersey did on Friday, Gov. Tom Wolf said. Wolf said the decision will be up to each school district.
“I think the school districts in Pennsylvania have to decide what they want to do,” Wolf said. “I think the CDC guidelines say ‘strongly recommend’ that schools do that. They’re not mandating it, and neither am I.”READ MORE: Sharon Hill Borough Council Launches Independent Investigation Into Fatal Shooting Of 8-Year-Old Fanta Bility
Wolf was in Philadelphia on Friday visiting a COVID-19 vaccination clinic at St. Raymond of Penaford Catholic Church in the city’s Cedarbrook neighborhood.
The governor said the commonwealth’s Department of Education will soon be issuing recommendations but not a mask mandate.
“We’re following CDC guidelines. We’re strongly recommending that if you are indoors in schools, you got to wear a mask, K through 12,” Wolf said.
According to Pennsylvania officials, more than 63% of residents in the state 18 and older are fully vaccinated, and the state has averaged more than 13,100 vaccinations per day over the past seven days.READ MORE: 19-Year-Old Man Killed In Double Shooting Inside Port Richmond Home, Police Say
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, joined by medical professionals, school administrators, educators, and teachers, said Friday that masks will be required by all students, teachers, staff, and visitors at all New Jersey schools beginning on Monday.
The universal masking mandate in New Jersey schools comes as the Delta variant continues to surge. The state reported Thursday its highest single-day number with 1,300 daily COVID-19 cases, a 367% increase from one month ago, and Burlington and Cumberland Counties also joined Cape May County as hot spots.
There has been a slew of mask mandates issued in the tri-state area on Friday. The University of Pennsylvania said Friday all students and staff will be required to wear masks indoors, while the Community College of Philadelphia announced a vaccination requirement.
Lehigh County officials said masks will be required inside all government buildings starting Monday.
In the First State, the University of Delaware said all students and staff will be required to mask up indoors regardless of vaccination status effective immediately.MORE NEWS: 'It's Been A Dark 2 Years:' Silent Walk Held For Dulce Maria Alavez, Who Went Missing 2 Years Ago
Again, Wolf said Pennsylvania will not be issuing a mask mandate for its schools.