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State College Removes Masking Ordinance

Hours after Penn State announced modifications to its masking policies, State College is doing the same.

On Friday, the borough said it will no longer enforce its ordinance requiring masking inside businesses or public facilities. The change comes after Centre County entered the “medium” threshold for COVID-19 transmission, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s COVID-19 community levels.

The CDC’s community levels across Pennsylvania as of Thursday, March 3

Under new guidelines, the CDC does not recommend indoor masking for counties with “low” or “medium” community levels. Federal law still requires masking in some settings, though, including on public transportation or in health care facilities.

State College’s masking ordinance was extended in early January. Under that provision, the ordinance was expected to expire once Centre County moved into a “substantial” threshold for COVID-19 spread — a metric that the CDC doesn’t officially use anymore.

The borough said masking requirements could return if COVID-19 transmission in Centre County worsens.

Starting on Monday, March 7, Penn State will remove most masking requirements but continue enforcing them inside classrooms, labs, and “other academic and creatives spaces” at all campuses. The policy change should remove mask requirements for dining halls, on-campus gyms, marketplaces, sporting events, and classrooms used for extracurricular activities.

After reaching record highs in December and January, new cases and hospitalizations have quickly dropped in Centre County and across Pennsylvania, hitting their lowest levels since early August. University Park reported just 52 cases and a 0.9% positivity rate over the last week, according to Penn State’s data.

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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 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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