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Penn State, Pitt, Temple Presidents Voice Support For Mask-Wearing

University leaders at Penn State, Pitt, and Temple are voicing their support for coronavirus mitigation efforts as cases have recently risen across the state.

Each president spoke to Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf’s administration this week, encouraging people to continue wearing masks and following public health guidelines to keep the virus at bay.

“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,” Penn State President Eric Barron said. “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.”

Pitt Chancellor Patrick D. Gallagher echoed that sentiment and noted it’s “critical” Pennsylvanians utilize evidence-based strategies to promote health and safety across the state.

Temple President Dr. Richard M. Englert agreed, adding there’s much more work to be done to combat the coronavirus.

“The fight against COVID-19 is not over,” Englert said. “Temple supports the governor’s efforts to prevent additional spikes in cases and ensure the public’s safety.”

Each of the three universities currently plans to return to on-campus instruction this fall. However, many, including Penn State, have reiterated they’re prepared to move to remote learning if needed as the pandemic seemingly worsens.

Earlier this month, Wolf announced his administration would order mandatory mask-wearing in all public spaces statewide. Additionally, Penn State previously announced it will require all students, faculty, and staff to wear face masks in class and around campus this fall.

Wolf, alongside Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine, rolled out a number of new mitigation efforts last week. These included reducing indoor dining to 25% capacity, prohibiting bar service, and limiting bar service to sit-down meals and carry-out only. Wolf also mandated indoor gatherings must consist of 25 or fewer people, while outdoor gatherings are limited to 250 people or fewer.

Daily cases statewide (Courtesy of Pennsylvania’s Department of Health)

To date, Pennsylvania has reported 102,765 cases of the coronavirus and 7,038 coronavirus-related deaths statewide. Locally, Centre County has reported 294 positive cases and nine deaths since the pandemic began.

Centre County’s positive cases by day (Courtesy of Pennsylvania’s Department of Health)

Like many locales, Centre County has seen a noticeable uptick in case numbers over the past few weeks. In the last two weeks alone, the county has reported 64 positive cases.

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About the Author

Matt DiSanto

Matt is a junior majoring in journalism and is Onward State's managing editor. He's a huge Philadelphia sports fan, fantasy football aficionado, and washed-up drummer hailing from Collegeville, Pa. The quickest way to his heart is Margherita pizza. He loves Seinfeld, is really into video games, and would wipe the floor with you in Halo. Follow him on Twitter @mattdisanto_ for bad sports takes or email him at [email protected]


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