Sep. 01, 2021

HARRISBURG -Republican state lawmakers Frank Ryan and Russ Diamond, both of Lebanon County, are calling out Pennsylvania’s acting secretary of Health for inaccurate comments she made concerning the Annville-Cleona football team and COVID-19. They issued the following statement:

“At a news conference this week acting secretary of Health Alison Beam was critical of schools with optional mask-wearing policies, saying they are suffering the consequences of not following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations. She went on to name four school districts, including Annville-Cleona, which she said canceled a recent football game due to a COVID-19 outbreak.

“We checked with school officials at Annville-Cleona School District and they confirmed that while they did cancel a game, they did not have a COVID-19 outbreak. The acting secretary of Health’s assessment was wrong and caused undue concern.

“School officials said they had one confirmed case of COVID-19 that did not originate at the school. Out of an abundance of caution, school officials took quick and decisive action to quarantine the football team and cancel last Friday’s game to prevent further spread. It was the correct and sensible response to this situation.

“We are calling on the acting secretary of Health to apologize to the school, the superintendent and the school board for misrepresenting the facts in this case and using the situation to further the Wolf administration’s political goal of imposing a statewide mask mandate on Pennsylvania school children.

“The Annville-Cleona School District exercised prudence and good judgment and demonstrated the effectiveness of local control. We believe in local control - giving parents and our school districts the power to decide what policies and actions are appropriate to protect our children. It works and our school officials just proved it.”

Representative Frank Ryan
101st Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Donna Pinkham
717.260.6452 /