Aug. 31, 2021

HARRISBURG – Rep. Tim O’Neal (R-Washington) today issued the following statement in response to the governor announcing he is mandating K-12 students and staff wear masks in school:

“As a father of two school-aged children, I strongly disagree with the governor’s decision to mandate masks in all school buildings in the Commonwealth. This is a decision that is best left up to each school board. The incidents of COVID-19 transmission vary greatly across the Commonwealth and if anything has been shown over the past 18 months it is a one-size-fits-all approach does not work and is not applicable.

“Furthermore, I do not believe the secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Health has the authority to dictate masking in schools across the Commonwealth. Earlier this month, the governor asked the Legislature to come back into session to pass a mask mandate. If he thought he had the authority without us, why did he call for legislation to be passed?

“COVID-19 decisions affecting the citizens of the Commonwealth should be solidly based on science and data. The voters spoke loud and clear at the ballot box that emergency actions should not continue unless firmly proven that they are needed. Masking should be implemented only in places where data shows it is appropriate, and only for the length of time needed.”

The 48th Legislative District in Washington County includes the city of Washington; Chartiers, North Franklin, North Strabane and South Strabane townships; and Canonsburg, East Washington and Houston boroughs.

Representative Tim O’Neal
48th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Tracy Polovick
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