November 15, 2021

Child Care Masking Requirement Still in Effect

On Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2021, a Commonwealth Court issued a ruling voiding PA Department of Health Acting Secretary Alison Beam’s Face Covering order for schools and child care programs. This decision does not have any impact on current procedures, as an appeal has been filed and will trigger the issuance of a stay.

Masking Compliance

The Office of Child Development and Early Learning has stated that child care and other school entities are required to continue to comply with the Secretary’s Order and OCDEL Announcement C-21-08 will continue to be in effect until further notice.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Office of the Governor provided the following statement to school entities, which includes child care and other early learning settings:

The Secretary of Health’s authority is clearly outlined in existing law. The Department of Health has directed counsel to file an appeal today. Filing of the appeal will immediately stay the Commonwealth Court’s decision.

Masking is a necessary public health measure to keep children safe and provide them with as much in-person learning in school as possible. Medical experts agree — hospitals and healthcare professionals across the state support the masking requirement. Requiring masks in schools is helping to keep students in classrooms and the virus out and is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Learn More

For more information about masking in child care programs, read OCDEL’s full compliance order.