Presidents of the University of Pittsburgh, Penn State University and Temple University voiced their support today for mask-wearing and mitigation efforts put in place by the Wolf administration to stop the recent rise in cases of COVID-19 and keep Pennsylvanians safe.
“Evidence-based strategies are vital to reducing the spread of COVID-19, and it is critical that we use them to promote the health and safety of residents throughout the Commonwealth,” said University of Pittsburgh Chancellor Patrick D. Gallagher. “The University of Pittsburgh deeply appreciates Governor Wolf’s unwavering commitment to protect the health of all Pennsylvanians.”
“If we are to be successful in our plans to return to teaching, learning and working on our campuses this fall, each one of us must take actions now, based on science and public health practices, to help mitigate the spread of the coronavirus,” said Penn State President Eric J. Barron. “Penn State is finalizing plans to support the critical aspects outlined by Gov. Wolf – from wearing face masks to maintaining social distancing to testing and contact tracing – in order to do our part to minimize the impact of the virus. It’s crucial that we all work together to help keep our campuses and our communities safe and healthy, and we are grateful for Gov. Wolf’s targeted and decisive actions toward this end.”
“The fight against COVID-19 is not over,” Temple University president Dr. Richard M. Englert said. “Temple supports the governor’s efforts to prevent additional spikes in cases and ensure the public’s safety.”
Gov. Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine put in place additional mitigation efforts on July 15 when multiple data points indicated the state may be headed for another surge in COVID-19 cases. These health experts and the CDC have noted that limiting indoor activities and wearing masks can have a strong positive effect on curtailing another surge.
A recent study by Brigham Young University researchers included a review of over 115 scientific studies on COVID-19. The study concluded that “there is now convincing evidence from multiple controlled experiments and field observations that wearing masks reduces the transmission of COVID-19 for health care workers and the public. Cloth masks can stop 90% or more of the dispersal of droplets carrying the virus.”