PA Releases Updated Masking and Travel Requirements The Pennsylvania Secretary of Health announced new efforts designed to mitigate the rapidly increasing spread of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth. Ufberg & Associates has outlined the important details below.Two of the measures announced by the Secretary of Health are of immediate relevance to employers:Travel restrictions:Effective Friday, November 20, any person visiting Pennsylvania from another state must have a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to entering the Commonwealth, or will otherwise be required to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. The same rule – have a negative test within 72 hours prior to return or quarantine for 14 days – will also apply to Pennsylvania residents who are returning from visits to other states.The new travel restrictions do not apply to people who commute to and from another state for work or medical treatment.Strengthened masking order:Effective immediately, the Secretary of Health’s original masking order, issued on April 15, 2020, has been strengthened to require every individual age 2 and older in the Commonwealth to wear a face covering when:1) Indoors or in an enclosed space, where another person or persons who are not members of the individual’s household are present in the same space, irrespective of physical distance. 2) Outdoors with others who are not members of a person’s household and unable to maintain sustained physical distance.3) As permitted in the Secretary of Health’s Order Directing Mitigation Measures, dated July 15, 2020, as amended, for participation in an indoor or outdoor event, gathering, or group setting where another person or persons, who are not members of the individual’s household are present.4) Participating in indoor physical activity in a gym, fitness center or group fitness classes, where another person or persons who are not members of the individual’s household are present in the same space, irrespective of physical distance.5) Waiting in a public area for, riding on, driving or operating public transportation or para-transit or while in a taxi, private car service or ride-sharing vehicle, irrespective of physical distance.6) Obtaining services for themselves or another person or a pet from the healthcare sector in settings including, but not limited to, a hospital, pharmacy, medical clinic, laboratory, physician or dental office, veterinary clinic, or blood bank.7) When working in any space where food is prepared, packaged for sale, or prepared for distribution to others.8) Certain facilities – including hospitals, shelters, long-term care facilities, residential treatment facilities, and correctional facilities – may also require visitors and residents, patients, or inmates to wear face coverings even when in a living unit.The order does contain a few exceptions to the facial covering requirement: A) If wearing a face covering while working would create an unsafe condition in which to operate equipment or execute a task as determined by local, state, or federal regulators or workplace safety guidelines.B) If wearing a face covering would either cause a medical condition, or exacerbate an existing one, including respiratory issues that impede breathing, a mental health condition or a disability.C) When necessary to confirm the individual’s identity.D) While obtaining a service that requires the temporary removal of the face covering, such as dental services.E) When working alone and isolated from interaction with other people with little or no expectation of in-person interaction. The order defines “working alone” as being isolated from interaction with other people with little or no expectation of in-person interruption. The order provides the following examples:a. A lone worker inside the enclosed cab of a crane or construction equipmentb. A person by themselves inside an office with four walls and a door;c. A lone worker inside a cubicle with 3 walls and a door or entryway, with walls high enough to block the breathing zone of all people walking by, and the worker’s activity will not require anyone to come inside of the worker’s workspace; andd. An employee who is alone in an agricultural field or other open area with no anticipated contact with others. F) If an individual is communicating or seeking to communicate with someone who is hearing-impaired or has another disability, where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication. The order requires that all alternatives to wearing a facial covering, including the use of a face shield, should be exhausted before an exception is issued to an individual.Businesses are required to ensure that all employees, customers, and visitors comply with the rule (absent a reasonable accommodation), and take reasonable steps to enforce the rule.The Department of Health has published FAQs on the travel and masking guidelines on the following webpages: • Travel FAQs• Masking FAQs Please note that it is possible that the Department of Health will issue additional clarifying guidance relating to this measure in the coming days. Our office will monitor closely, and will provide you with updated information and guidance as it becomes available. If you have any questions about how this new order will impact your workforce, please contact us. Thank you and stay healthy.