UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Based on public health guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), six Penn State campuses will no longer require masking indoors, effective immediately.
As of Friday, June 3, face masks are no longer required to be worn indoors at the University Park, Great Valley, Lehigh Valley, New Kensington, Schuylkill and Scranton campuses, due to decreasing COVID-19 Community Levels in the counties where these campuses are located. The CDC tracks COVID-19 Community Levels on a county-by-county basis and advises that masks be worn in counties with high COVID-19 Community Levels. Individuals who wish to continue wearing face masks on these campuses are encouraged to do so.
The Penn State Abington, Beaver, Behrend, Brandywine, Greater Allegheny, Hazleton and Wilkes-Barre campuses will continue to require masks to be worn indoors, as previously announced, based on ongoing high COVID-19 Community Levels reported by the CDC. No new campuses will be required to begin masking indoors at this time.
The CDC’s county-by-county COVID-19 Community Levels are “a new tool to help communities decide what prevention steps to take based on the latest data.” Levels can be low (green), medium (yellow) or high (orange), and are based on the number of new COVID-19 cases in each county as well as new hospital admissions and hospital capacity.
- Green counties: CDC recommendations call for individuals to stay up-to-date on their vaccinations and to get tested if they have symptoms of COVID-19.
- Yellow counties: The recommendations advise those who are at high risk for severe illness to talk to their healthcare provider about their individual need to wear a face mask.
- Orange counties: CDC recommends all individuals wear a mask indoors.
Currently, 17 counties in Pennsylvania are in orange status, 24 are in yellow and 26 are in green.
The status of each county is updated on the CDC website on Thursdays. When a county home to a Penn State campus moves from yellow or green to orange or vice versa, the campus will communicate with students, faculty and staff with any change in masking requirements.