December 13, 2021

Child Care Masking Order Lifted

On December 10, 2021, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued a ruling that ended the Acting Secretary of Health’s order that masks must be worn by children age two and older, educators and staff in child care settings.

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Any citations for regulatory violations issued pursuant 55 Pa. Code Chapters 3270, 3280, and 3290 pertaining to compliance with “pertinent laws and regulations” “general health and safety,” and “child and adult health information for failure to comply with the Acting Secretary of Health’s Order will be rescinded.

Though masking is no longer a requirement, Acting Human Services Secretary Meg Snead strongly urges all providers to continue requiring mask use for children age 2 and older, and educators and staff.

The Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) issued an announcement stating that providers can still their own health and safety policies for their staff and children in care in line with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The CDC’s guidance for child care facilities at this time still recommends universal masking for children age 2 and older and staff regardless of vaccination status, specifically:

  • “Indoors: CDC recommends universal masking in ECE programs for everyone two years of age and older, regardless of vaccination status.

  • Outdoors: In general, people do not need to wear masks when outdoors. CDC recommends that people age 2 and older who are not fully vaccinated wear a mask in crowded outdoor settings or during activities that involve sustained close contact with other people.”

More Information

For more details, read OCDEL’s full announcement. Stay up-to-date on the most recent CDC Guidance for Operating Child Care.

Questions should be directed to the OCDEL Western Region Office at 800-222-2149.