State College council votes to require masks inside State College businesses, offices

The ordinance applies to grocery stores, retail shops, municipal buildings and doctors’ offices, regardless of a person's vaccination status.

  • Anne Danahy/WPSU

(State College) — Pointing to a rising number of COVID-19 cases, State College Borough Council unanimously approved an ordinance Monday night requiring masks to be worn inside public buildings.

The ordinance applies to grocery stores, retail shops, municipal buildings and doctors’ offices — anywhere inside and open to the public — regardless of a person’s vaccination status. It’s in keeping with CDC guidelines and Centre County having “high community transmission.”

The county has seen an increase in cases since the start of fall semester at Penn State.

A proposed change to what counts as a metropolitan area could have big impacts on small metro towns like State College.

Min Xian / WPSU

A proposed change to what counts as a metropolitan area could have big impacts on small metro towns like State College.

“There is no reason people should be put at risk because of the inconvenience of wearing a mask, which is slight,” said Council member Peter Marshall.

Council heard from a few Penn State students opposed to the ordinance, and a few residents who support it.

Council member Theresa Lafer shot back at critics of the ordinance, saying it’s what people do when they are part of a community.

“We know that the Delta virus is extremely contagious, and we know that our children or grandchildren or neighbors are not all protected from it,” Lafer said. “So to say ‘I want the freedom to not have a mask on my face,’ is childish, selfish and just bad citizenship.”

The ordinance took effect immediately and lasts until Nov. 22.

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