HARRISBURG (KDKA) – Gov. Tom Wolf is asking all Pennsylvanians to wear masks anytime they leave the house.
He’s asking people to reserve N95 and paper masks for healthcare workers. He says you should use a cloth or homemade mask if you need to leave the house.
At a Friday afternoon press conference, Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine says the health department has recommended that the general public not wear masks. However, they say that guidance is now changing.
“Your mask protects me from COVID-19, and my mask protects you from COVID-19,” Dr. Levine explained.
My mask protects you, your mask protects me.
Homemade masks protect everyone else from droplets created by the wearer. It's important that as many people as possible wear masks when leaving home.
You DON'T need a surgical mask or N95—save those for front line responders. pic.twitter.com/NznRa9FSsG
— PA Department of Health (@PAHealthDept) April 3, 2020
She emphasized the most important way to protect yourself, your family and the community is by staying home, “but if you need to go out, then wearing a mask or even a bandanna could be an extra layer of protection.” She says scarfs also work.
She says this isn’t “a pass” to go back to work or socialize, but it’s another tool in the toolbox to protect ourselves from coronavirus.
The Pennsylvania Department of Health confirmed 1,404 new positive cases of Coronavirus on Friday, including 12 additional deaths.
- Coronavirus In Pennsylvania: Gov. Tom Wolf Orders All Pennsylvanians To Stay At Home
- Coronavirus In Pennsylvania: Gov. Tom Wolf Extends Stay-At-Home Order Until April 30, Indefinitely Closes Schools And Non-Life-Sustaining Businesses
- Coronavirus In Pittsburgh Area: Coronavirus Case Confirmed In Washington Co., Western Pa.’s First
- Coronavirus In Pittsburgh: Two Cases Of Coronavirus Confirmed In City Of Pittsburgh
- Coronavirus In Pennsylvania: State’s First Coronavirus-Related Death Confirmed
- Coronavirus Closures And Changes: Attractions, Businesses, And Events Canceled Or Closed In Pittsburgh, Across Western Pa.
- Coronavirus In Pittsburgh: Area Restaurants Offering Takeout And Delivery Amid COVID-19 Outbreak
- More Coronavirus News
Total cases of the virus statewide now stands at 8,420 in 63 counties. All patients are either in isolation at home or being treated at the hospital.
There have been a total of 102 deaths.
According to Health Department statistics, that death toll now equals the number of flu associated deaths for the 2019-2020 flu season. State health officials last updated that number last week.
The Pennsylvania Department of Health says it will post guidance on its website for making masks.
There are also several resources online where you can learn how to make a mask.
More information on the Coronavirus pandemic:
- CDC Coronavirus Information
- CDC Global Map of Confirmed COVID-19 Cases
- Pennsylvania Department of Health Information
- Allegheny County Health Department Information
Stay with KDKA for the latest on this developing story.