Schuylkill County Commissioners have ended the indoor mask mandate at the Courthouse and other County properties.
The announcement came soon after the CDC updated its guidance last week on indoor mask wearing in response to the COVID pandemic.
After a judicial order was vacated at the Courthouse which imposed a mask mandate for County employees and visitors to County buildings, the Commissioners used their power to keep a mask mandate in place – despite that vacated order – for much of February.
The updated CDC guidance changes the metrics used to determine community spread of COVID-19. Previously, the CDC relied on percent-positivity of COVID testing.
However, under the new guidance, the number of new cases is factored in with hospitalizations due to COVID and the availability of local hospital beds. By those numbers, the CDC labels Schuylkill County as a Medium risk area and therefore, masks aren’t recommended in indoor settings.
Schuylkill County HR director Heidi Zula informed employees of the change in a memo on Friday afternoon. In it, she writes: “In accordance with the CDC recommended prevention measures, the Board of Commissioners will no longer require masks to be worn by employees and other persons entering County buildings effective Monday, February 28, 2022. Employees and other persons may choose to wear a mask at any time as they deem appropriate. Please note that guidelines regarding the notification of COVID-19 symptoms, potential exposures, and/or positive test results will remain in effect.”