Philly Voice: Refusing to Wear a Mask in Public During the Pandemic Could Become a Crime in PA

Bailey Dickerson

Refusing to follow the state’s mandate to wear a mask in public during the pandemic could potentially become a misdemeanor in Pennsylvania, writes Michael Tanenbaum for the Philly Voice.

State Sen. Art Haywood, whose district includes a part of Montgomery County, introduced a bill earlier this month that would classify not wearing a mask as recklessly endangering another person.

“A person commits a misdemeanor of the second degree if the person willfully fails to wear a mask or other face-covering that is necessary to protect public health as a result of a declaration by the Governor of disaster emergency,” according to the bill.

The legislation was introduced several days before a federal judge ruled some of the emergency orders issued by Gov. Tom Wolf  were unconstitutional. However, it did not address the mask mandate.

This requires that people must wear a face covering when they are outdoors and are not able to maintain a six-foot distance from people outside their household. The order also applies to indoor locations where members of the public are generally permitted.

The bill has now been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee for further review.

Read more about the proposed bill at the Philly Voice by clicking here.

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