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Borough Council Relaxes, Extends State College COVID-19 Ordinance

The State College Borough Council unanimously voted Monday night to amend the borough’s COVID-19 mitigation ordinance by loosening restrictions surrounding mask-wearing and gathering.

Most notably, the ordinance is now aligned with relaxed Centers for Disease Control (CDC) masking requirements, which say fully vaccinated individuals can…

  • Visit with other fully vaccinated individuals inside without wearing masks or socially distancing
  • Visit with unvaccinated people from a single household who aren’t at a high risk without wearing masks or socially distancing
  • Participate in outdoor activities and recreation without wearing masks, except in “certain crowded settings” and venues
  • Refrain from testing follow a known exposure if they’re asymptomatic (with some exceptions)
  • Refrain from quarantine following a known exposure if asymptomatic
  • Refrain from routine COVID-19 testing if asymptomatic

Still, many restrictions will continue throughout the borough under the amended ordinance.

Regardless of vaccination status, individuals need to continue wearing masks in outdoor lines, too. However, the ordinance no longer enforces a limit on the number of people who may wait outside an establishment. Social distancing requirements for outdoor lines no longer apply, but masking must continue.

Indoors, mask requirements will continue. The borough’s Board of Health recommended individuals continue masking inside regardless of their vaccination status. Requirements in individual businesses, municipal and government buildings, and public transportation will continue.

The borough’s vote also modified gathering size requirements. Indoor gatherings at residences are now capped at 25 people (previously 10), while outdoor gatherings at borough parks and municipal properties are now capped at 50 people (previously 25).

State College’s ordinance will now remain in effect with these new, relaxed guidelines until July 31 or when the Pennsylvania Department of Health and Centre Region Council of Governments rescind their emergency declarations — whichever comes first.

The ordinance was originally set to expire on May 31 or through the removal of emergency declarations.

Those found in violation of the ordinance could still receive a citation that’s punishable by a $300 fine, plus any additional court costs.

The borough’s modified ordinance comes less than one week after Governor Tom Wolf announced plans to lift the state’s restrictions on gatherings and businesses by May 31. However, local municipalities and governments are able to continue enforcing stricter guidelines within their jurisdictions if they choose.

Wolf said Pennsylvania’s masking mandate will lift once 70% of adults are fully vaccinated. According to the state’s Department of Health, 57,098 Centre County adults are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, while 18,642 are partially vaccinated.

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About the Author

Matt DiSanto

Matt is a senior majoring in journalism and 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 and "Arrested Development" quotes. Follow him on Twitter @mattdisanto_ if you hate yourself or email Matt at [email protected] if you hate him.

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