Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf made some changes to COVID-19 restrictions in the state.
Mar.1 Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced he will be making some changes to COVID-19 restrictions in the state. Gov. Tom Wolf announced outdoor events are now limited to a 20 percent maximum occupancy, the venue size does not matter. Indoor events are now limited to 15 percent maximum occupancy, no matter the size of the venue. Wearing a mask and social distancing are still required even with these new restrictions.
“I do agree with the lifted restrictions for restaurants and stadiums. These businesses have been struggling and with the ability to serve more customers is important,” Erin Mcdermott, sophomore, early education and special education major, said.
He also announced that the state is getting rid of the requirement that people who are traveling to Pennsylvania from a different state and Pennsylvania residents who are returning home from out of state have to test negative for COVID-19 72 hours before arriving. Before the change, if people refused to get tested were required to quarantine for 14 days.
“The lifted out-of-state travel restrictions I don’t agree with. I think it is important for travelers both non-PA residents and PA residents,” said Erin. “Coming into the state should prove that they are negative to ensure that they are not bringing in positive cases after traveling and helps prevent the spread.”
“What is concerning to me as a teacher, is students who travel out of state and don’t need to quarantine or get a negative COVID test when they come back. Students travel to a multitude of states,” Professor Clementi, adjunct math professor, said. “We have a mask mandate and Pennsylvania, not every state does. Texas, for instance, no mass mandate and a lot of states in the south have no mass mandate.”
When Gov. Tom Wolf announced the new restrictions Philadelphia announced eased restrictions for the city. Philadelphia will now allow some attendance for sporting events. 2,500 total people will be allowed for outdoor events and 500 total people for indoor events. Restaurants in Philadelphia are allowed to have six people per table outdoors, now it is not required that they be from the same household. The current indoor dining capacity in Philadelphia, which is 25, still stays the same. Even with restrictions lifting, the CDC still recommends that people wear masks and social distance.
“I would not go to any indoor games,I don’t I would not feel safe, even with folks socially distant, which they keep saying that’s the key to containing this virus, stay six feet apart, wear a mask.” said Clementi.”Outdoors is a different thing, it’s very easy to be many more feet than six feet apart.”
The change in restrictions stems from the drop of COVID-19 cases in the state and how many people have been vaccinated so far. “In the past week, there has been an average of 2,490 cases per day which is a 3 percent decrease from two weeks prior” according to the New York Times. 3.9 million Johnson and Johnson vaccines have been shipped out to states. The FDA granted emergency use authorization of the Johnson and Johnson one-dose vaccine which offers 85 percent protection against most serve COVID-19 illness, There are 1,016,970 people in Pennsylvania that have been fully vaccinated according to the Pennsylvania Department of health.