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Governor Wolf Eases Statewide Restrictions, Increases Gathering Size Limits

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced Monday his administration will immediately begin lifting some coronavirus pandemic mitigation restrictions across the state.

Namely, Pennsylvania is revising guidance on gathering sizes. Under Monday’s revisions, indoor events could host up to 15% of a venue’s maximum occupancy, while an outdoor event could host up to 20% of a venue’s maximum occupancy.

In both scenarios, event hosts must continue enforcing “core public health measures” like wearing masks, socially distancing, and washing hands. Both maximum occupancies are permitted only if attendees and workers can properly distance up to 6 feet apart from others.

Additionally, Wolf’s administration eliminated out-of-state travel restrictions in a response to “the current downward trend” of COVID-19 cases nationwide and reduced travel risks thanks to universally implemented testing requirements and mask-wearing policies.

The state’s modified guidelines come as cases gradually drop and vaccinations increase across the commonwealth. Although some restrictions are loosening, Wolf encouraged Pennsylvanians to continue acting with caution and taking precautions against the coronavirus pandemic.

“There is light at the end of the tunnel. COVID-19 cases are on the decline, and more are being vaccinated,” Wolf said on Twitter Monday. “Thank you for wearing masks, keeping your distance, planning for vaccines, and doing whatever it takes to slow the spread of COVID. Your actions are making a difference.”

At this time, it’s unclear if Penn State and State College will modify their current ordinances and restrictions to reflect Pennsylvania’s updated guidelines. Currently, the borough’s ordinance, which limits gathering sizes and enforces mask-wearing, is in effect through May 31.

According to the state’s Department of Health, local orders and restrictions take precedent over statewide orders if they’re more restrictive.

Still, Wolf’s announcement bodes well for Happy Valley’s future. Penn State already said it’s “exploring options” for in-person commencement ceremonies this spring and intends on returning to in-person instruction across the board next fall. Ideally, those goals are a bit easier to achieve now.

Since last March, Centre County has reported 12,944 cumulative COVID-19 cases. It added 65 cases over the weekend, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

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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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