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State College Issues First Citations For Coronavirus Ordinance Violations

State College has started issuing citations for violations of its temporary ordinance to mitigate the coronavirus’ spread in town, the borough announced Friday afternoon.

According to district court records and releases from the department, State College police have issued nine citations for ordinance violations so far. Each violation carries a $300 fine plus any additional court costs.

The ordinance, passed earlier this month, requires borough residents to wear face masks in public, places capacity limits on residential and outdoor gatherings, and restricts lines outside businesses and on public sidewalks. All residential gatherings are limited to 10 people, and no additional people are permitted to gather at households with more than 10 residents.

Before it began issuing citations, the borough launched a campaign to educate residents on the ordinance and coronavirus mitigation efforts.

“The hope is to achieve compliance from everyone,” the borough wrote in a statement Friday. “However, police and other enforcement officers will continue to issue citations for violations of the ordinance.”

Select exemptions for the ordinance are in place for those with medical and mental health conditions that prevent them from wearing face masks. Under those circumstances, those individuals will need to present documentation from a medical professional claiming they have such a conditions within five days of being cited.

Other exemptions include select religious beliefs, hearing disorders that require seeing mouths to communicate, and sitting at restaurants when properly distanced from others.

Downtown businesses are expected to monitor their outdoor lines and contact the proper authorities when things get out of hand. They can also be cited and fined should they violate the ordinance. Each day violations continue will be viewed as a separate offense.

You can learn more about the ordinance and read it in its entirety here.

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About the Author

Matt DiSanto

Matt proudly served as Onward State’s managing editor for two years until graduating from Penn State with distinction in May 2022. Now, he’s off in the real world doing real things. Send him an email ([email protected]) or follow him on Twitter (@mattdisanto_) to stay in touch.

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