Masks required inside Montgomery County, Pa. buildings

Mask requirements inside Berks County, Pa. owned buildings also take effect Monday.

Katherine Scott Image
Monday, August 16, 2021
Montco recommends masks for indoors, requires for gov't buildings
With the rise of the COVID-19 delta variant, Montgomery County is updating its masking guidance.

NORRISTOWN, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- A mask requirement in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania goes into effect Monday for staff and visitors in county buildings and facilities.

In addition, Montgomery County Commissioners in consultation with the Office of Public Health announced wearing a mask is now recommended for the general public for all indoor spaces.

The county made these announcements on Friday.

Montgomery County is now in the 'High Transmission' category per the CDC as the delta variant drives COVID-19 cases back up.

"Because the delta variant is different, we need to change what we're doing to stop its spread," Montgomery County Commissioner Dr. Val Arkoosh said in a press briefing.

SEE ALSO: Philly mandates COVID vaccine for colleges, health care workers; updates mask rules

"I'm against masks," Brian Devins of Penndel said before entering the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown. "I have to go in this building so they're going to make me wear it, so I'm going to wear it."

The county is not requiring masks in other indoor spaces like restaurants, which is at the discretion of the business. However, masks are recommended.

"We need to continue to wear them, that way we can get back to how things were," said Jerel Colclough of Norristown.

Dr. Arkoosh said more than 77% of Montgomery County residents aged 12 and up have at least one dose of the vaccine.

As the first day of school approaches, the county is leaving masking up to local school boards.

Dr. Arkoosh said the goal remains getting children back in classrooms.

"That is everyone's top priority to get every child back into school with in-person learning, and there are multiple mitigation strategies that schools are implementing," said Arkoosh.

"Montgomery County OPH maintains that vaccination is the most important public health action to end the COVID-19 pandemic and strongly urges all Montgomery County residents to consider getting vaccinated," officials said in a release.


Berks County, too, is also seeing new rules go into effect on Monday.

Masks are once again required for employees and visitors inside county owned buildings, regardless of vaccination status.

The county commissioners approved the mandate on Tuesday, citing data that shows a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases in Berks and surrounding counties.

SEE ALSO: Masks required for outdoor events with over 1,000 attendees in Philadelphia: What you should know