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Pennsylvania drops mask mandate

June 28, 2021 GMT

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania lifted its mask mandate on Monday, more than 14 months after the administration of Gov. Tom Wolf began requiring people to wear face coverings whenever they left home to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The Department of Health will no longer require unvaccinated people to wear masks in public, though it said businesses, health care facilities, prisons and other places may still require them.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also requires masks on planes, trains, buses and public transportation hubs.

Fully vaccinated people were allowed to shed their masks in most public places in Pennsylvania last month.

According to federal data, 75% of Pennsylvania residents aged 18 and over have already received at least one vaccine dose, with nearly 60% of the adult population fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. People are considered fully vaccinated once they are two weeks beyond their last required dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

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As more Pennsylvanians have gotten vaccinated, new infections have plummeted. The state has averaged about 177 new confirmed cases per day over the past week, according to Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering. Deaths attributed to COVID-19 have also dropped off, averaging about 12 per day over the past seven days.