Gov. Wolf? School boards? Who’s to blame for lack of mask mandating for kids in Pa.?

Regional News

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — A tension across Pennsylvania has been unmasked. Should schools and daycares be requiring everyone to wear masks indoors, per CDC guidelines? Most are not, which frustrates some parents who argue Governor Wolf should make them.

“Eli is two,” Tori Levine, a mother of two said. She also has a seven-year-old Ruben, a second-grader who has a chronic illness. “So he’s at higher risk,” Levine said.

Also elevated, Tori’s frustration level. She doesn’t understand why school officials and the governor aren’t requiring masks. Here’s the Wolf Administration’s official stance. “We strongly urge schools to abide by the emerging CDC guidance about masking in K-12,” Acting Department of Health Secretary, Alison Beam said.

But strongly urging isn’t strong enough for Tori when the CDC unequivocally says schools should mandate masks. So why aren’t they?

“If they are saying that this is necessary for everyone’s safety, I’m not sure why the governor is all of a sudden saying it’s ok, we’re gonna trust that everybody’s gonna do the right thing,” Levine said.

“We’ve never been a supporter of government mandating,” House Majority Leader, Kerry Benninghoff (R) said. He says upset parents should complain to their school boards who control mask policy. “We have tried to leave the decisions to the locals,” Rep. Benninghoff said.

Of the nearly 28,000 COVID deaths in Pa., less than 15 are in kids under 15. Statistically non-existent. But the virus is still here. Kids like Ruben are still vulnerable, and Tori says without the government making people wear masks most people won’t.

“If people were able to be trusted to do the right thing for public safety there would be no need for a mandate, but I think there is a need for a mandate,” Levine said.

The CDC guidance says anyone over two that’s not vaccinated should wear a mask. That means daycares should have kids wearing them.

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