HARRISBURG (AP) – A special panel within PA’s state government is rejecting a request by state House Republicans that it force the Health Department to formally adopt the statewide mask order in schools as a regulation or stop the policy altogether. The Joint Committee on Documents voted 7 to 4 to uphold the validity of Acting Health Secretary Alison Beam’s Aug. 31 order. The order applies to K-12 schools and child care facilities and is designed to halt the spread of COVID-19. The committee is an entity that includes of members of the Wolf Administration, other executive branch officials, and state legislative leaders.