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Pennsylvania To Ease Gathering Limits Again Starting May 17

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced Tuesday his administration will once again ease restrictions on in-person gatherings next week.

Starting Monday, May 17, maximum occupancy limits for indoor events across the state will rise to 50%. Outdoor events and gatherings, meanwhile, will be capped at 75%. Current restrictions limit indoor and outdoor gatherings to 25 and 50%, respectively.

Individual entities like schools, restaurants, and venues (including Beaver Stadium!) can continue enforcing stricter limits on gatherings as they see fit.

Wolf said increased COVID-19 vaccinations in Pennsylvania and updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control enabled the rolled back restrictions.

“We recognize the significant strain businesses have faced during COVID-19 mitigation efforts,” Wolf said in a statement. “Throughout the last year and a half, we have seen businesses continue to put the safety of their patrons first and I believe they will continue to do so even with this capacity increase.”

Wolf’s revised guidelines likely won’t apply for a while in State College, which updated its COVID-19 mitigation ordinance Monday night and extended it through the end of July. Revised restrictions in the borough limit indoor and outdoor gatherings to 25 and 50 people, respectively. The ordinance also no longer restricts line sizes outside businesses and lets vaccinated adults forgo masking outdoors unless they’re in large crowds.

Mask-wearing in the borough is still required indoors.

Last week, Wolf said his administration planned on lifting all restrictions in gatherings and businesses by May 31. However, local municipalities and governments can continue enforcing stricter guidelines within their jurisdictions.

Pennsylvania’s masking mandate, on the other hand, will lift once 70% of adults are fully vaccinated. According to the Department of Health, 52.5% of Pennsylvanians have received at least one vaccine dose, while 35.5% are fully covered.

“As we continue implementing our reopening plan as quickly as possible, the safety of Pennsylvanians remains at the forefront of our decision making,” Wolf said. “During the pandemic, all Pennsylvanians have worked collaboratively to stop the spread of COVID-19. We must continue that same mindset during our reopening efforts.”

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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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