UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa (WTAJ) — In accordance with public health guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), eight Penn State campuses are reinstating a mask policy for indoor campus buildings.

Due to high COVID-19 Community Levels mask will be required indoors at the following Penn State Campuses: Penn State Abington, Behrend, Brandywine, Great Valley, Hazelton, Lehigh Valley and Wilkes-Barre.

Face mask will also be required at Penn State Scranton as Lackawanna County recently had a high COVID-19 Community level and has since shifted to medium. Because of this, campuses in a county that is transitioning to either medium or low COVID-19 level must continue masking for one week.

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. 

“As this sixth wave of COVID-19 spreads across Pennsylvania, it is likely that we will see more campuses move to require masking as their home counties move from yellow or green to orange,” Kelly Wolgast, director of the University’s COVID-19 Operations Control Center said. “We continue to encourage our community to stay up to date on their vaccinations as the best way to avoid a serious case of COVID-19 and to stay home and get tested if you are experiencing symptoms.”

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Currently, 23 counties in Pennsylvania are in orange status and 17 are in yellow.