HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf signed an executive order on July 1 which mandated the wearing of face coverings in all public settings where social distancing is not possible.

After some questioning, the Pennsylvania Department of Education clarified on Monday that the rule applies to children and adults in a school setting.

“This Order applies to all individuals while in school entities, including public K-12 schools, brick and mortar and cyber charter schools, private and parochial schools,” a statement on the DOE website said.

The Order is effective immediately, and applies to anybody over two years old.

However, students with certain health conditions may be exempt from wearing a mask, according to the DOE.

Pennsylvania has seen an increase in the daily number of new cases in recent days, especially in the southwest part of the state.

“This mask-wearing order is essential to stopping the recent increase in COVID-19 cases we have seen in Pennsylvania,” Gov. Wolf said when he signed the Executive Order last week. “Those hot spots can be traced to situations where Pennsylvanians were not wearing masks or practicing social distancing — two practices that must be adhered to if we want to maintain the freedoms we have in place under our reopening.”

The new Executive Order was an expansion on the one signed in April, which required masks to be worn inside of businesses. It will be in effect until further direction is given, according to the DOE statement.

Ryan Sharp can be reached at rsharp@morning-times.com or (570) 888-9463 ext. 231. Follow @RealRyanSharp on Twitter.

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