All Pennsylvanians now required to wear masks to enter essential businesses

All employees and customers of essential businesses across Pennsylvania are now required to wear a protective mask. The order went into effect at 8 p.m. on Sunday.

"I'm wearing a mask, I'm a medical student so I happen to have it on me when we were told to go into quarantine," said Yasmeen Byrnes, waiting in line outside Trader Joe's on Market Street in Center City.

While some say it's been hard to remember to leave home with a face covering, they understand why it's important to protect themselves and those around them.

"The only thing that's annoying, honestly, is that my glasses fog up, so I have to adjust it, but other than that I don't really mind," said Jackie Appel. "I'd rather wear it and have these small inconveniences than things get a lot worse and people get really sick."

Essential business workers must also wear a mask provided or approved by their employer.

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Businesses are ordered to deny entry to any customer not wearing a mask unless the business is providing medication, medical supplies, or food. In that case, the business must provide alternative methods of pick-up or delivery.

There are some exceptions, including for people who cannot wear a mask due to a medical condition and children under two years old.

The governor's office states there are citations, fines or license suspensions that could come down on businesses that don't comply.

But what about customers who refuse to wear one?

"If someone comes to a store and is not wearing a mask they can be told to leave if they are not wearing a mask. Some stores may have some of their own supplies of masks. It's not a requirement," said Pennsylvania Health Secretary Rachel Levine.

Philadelphia officials tell Action News if residents are aware of businesses that are not enforcing this, they can call 311.

SEPTA says riders are not required to wear masks but encouraged to do so.

A drive-through coronavirus testing site opens next week in northeastern Pennsylvania for emergency and health workers and older commonwealth residents with symptoms, state officials announced Saturday.

The state's health secretary, Dr. Rachel Levine, said the site at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza in Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County, was sought because "we continue to see case counts increasing there."
The site will begin testing Monday for 100 first responders and health care workers from northeastern Pennsylvania who have symptoms of COVID-19. Beginning Tuesday, the site will test as many as 200 northeastern Pennsylvania residents over age 65 with symptoms as well as first responders and health care workers each day.

Registration a day in advance on the health department's website will be required, but patients won't need a doctor's prescription. Results should be available in two to three business days, and patients will receive an email to log on to the registration site and access their results, officials said.

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People heading to the site will be required to return home and self-isolate after testing, and they are being urged not to make any stops along the way, such as to a grocery store or pharmacy, Levine said.

"We want people to come to the site and then go back home," Levine said.


State officials in Pennsylvania have announced the creation of a business-to-business directory for supplies related to the coronavirus outbreak.

The Department of Community and Economic Development says the business-to-business interchange directory is intended to connect organizations and businesses directly to manufacturers producing products and supplies.

Secretary Dennis Davin said it's intended to provide commonwealth residents access to critical supplies "expeditiously without a middleman."

The directory currently includes manufacturers of N95 masks, fabric and other masks, and surgical masks. Additional supplies and materials will be added to the directory as the department identifies potential manufacturers.
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