State College Borough’s Board of Health holds emergency meeting over local COVID-19 ordinance

Local News

CENTRE COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) – State College Borough’s Board of Health held an emergency meeting today in light of the CDC’s recent changes in guidance regarding COVID-19 safety measures.

According to member Tom King, sticking by their local ordinance, despite updated recommendations has caused confusion in the community.

“Since May 12, starting on Thursday last week. Staff and council began to get numerous phone calls and emails about the latest Department of Health guidance and the inconsistency between the state, CDC, and local borough ordinance,” said King.

Which is why member Linda Greenly-Finch says an emergency meeting was called.

“It’s a nightmare for enforcement,” said Greenly-Finch.

Up for debate, was to decide if changes should be made to the local mandate, or if it should be repealed all together. The floor was first opened up to the public to voice their opinion.

“My primary concern is not knowing vaccine status and the fact that we haven’t reached herd immunity yet. And I would suggest that we continue doing what we’re doing,” said one resident.

But not everyone was on the same page.

“I for one, am not going out to any businesses with a mask on because I have to breath, I have asthma. I have my card, I carry my card with me. I even wear the t-shirt says ‘Relax I’m vaccinated.’ What more do people want? I want to live my life again,” pleaded another.

A third resident proposed relaxing the ordinance for masking, at least for businesses like gyms.

“But then on the other hand how would you track if people have been vaccinated or not,” questioned another.

The owner of F45 State College JR Duffy, spoke up saying he wouldn’t necessarily want to have to do that.

“If we had to stay open I would, just because I’d do whatever we had to move into the next step. But it’s a responsibility I just don’t want to have. It doesn’t seem that it’s necessary,” said Duffy.

In the end the, board members took a 3-1 vote to follow the state and CDC’s guidelines when it comes to masking.

The board also voted to no longer require a mask when standing in line, regardless of vaccination status, as well as to increase the gathering size for residential and parks from 25 and 50, to 100.

The borough’s council will hold another emergency meeting on May 21 at 11 a.m. to reopen the ordinance.

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