Dylan Huberman spoke to Mayor Ron Filippelli and a local business owner to hear about it’s ramifications.
Mayor Filippelli says this new mandate was created because of one simple fact, the pandemic is not yet over.
“The message, it seems to me, the message is clear, that, uh, you know, nothing is going to return to normal until we get out of this.”
The ordinance requires masking indoors at all public buildings and businesses in the Borough.
Centre County is in the CDC’s high transmission category, and State College is the highest populated area within the region
Add in the people pouring in from out of town for football games, including this weekend’s Whiteout against Auburn, and action become necessary.
“We’re going to have a lot of visitors in town, and they will be downtown, many of them, and they will be using our, we hope they’ll be using our restaurants and our retail stores and so on but, uh,
if they do, they’re going to have to wear a mask.”
For many businesses decimated by the first round of the pandemic, this population spike has been brilliant.
“Uh, we’ve been busy since the students have returned back to State College, it’s really brought the light back into this town, and last weekend (Football Game vs. Ball State) was a huge weekend for all of our businesses down here in State College with the very first home game here since the pandemic and, uh, we saw a tremendous amount of traffic.”
And even with this mandate, Gummo doesn’t see that changing.
“With the mask mandate returning here to State College, I don’t think that it’s going to have a huge impact on our business one way or another. The Borough is doing what they feel is best to protect and keep our community safe.”
Something Filippelli says is of the utmost importance.
“This is a question of health issues, its a health issue, its not a football issue, it’s not a student issue, its not anything (else). It’s a health issue. And the…in my opinion, the primary, the
first responsibility of government…at any level is the safety of its citizens.”
The ordinance will expire in November unless council votes to extend it before then.