10 fined for violating State College order on wearing masks
State College Borough police officers reported that 10 people were fined $ 300 for failing to comply with the borough’s temporary mask-wearing order for the week of September 14-20.
Borough council members passed the ordinance on August 4 to help prevent a COVID-19 outbreak in the college town. Officers received a total of 23 reports of non-compliance last week.
The number of citations and violations is shared online every Thursday. The next report will be released next Thursday and will include figures from September 21 to 27.
The fine for failing to comply with the order is $ 300, plus additional court costs.
Police say educating the public about the ordinance works.
“Our approach from the start is education,” said Douglas Shontz, the Borough Director’s communications assistant. “Education, then warnings, then application possible. If you’re belligerent about it and very noticeably stubborn, it could be an immediate fine.
The ordinance requires everyone to wear a mask outside and limit small gatherings to 10 people.
“Of course there are nuances,” Shontz said. “People go to State College to visit their families and they may not know about the ordinance. We have an obligation to protect the community and these are really just two big things: if you are in public or if you are unable to distance yourself socially, wear a mask. Our slogan is “Mask Up State College”. “
Questions have arisen about what it means to limit gatherings to 10 people, he said. The local ordinance is stricter than state ordinances, which allow up to 25 people indoors and 250 people outdoors.
“A planned social gathering or spontaneous event indoors and outdoors, there are some exceptions,” he said. “If you’re visiting family members and you’re a household of 10, and your son is from Afghanistan from the military, you’re not going to be quoted, no. We understand this. If you are a fraternity of 45 and need an electrician, no, this is not a gathering. It’s a bit of a nuance.
The number of citations continues to decline as more people adhere to the temporary mask ordinance. Last week, seven people were named, while more than 40 violations were reported.
Officers share a flyer to help educate anyone who resists wearing a mask.
“There is constant debate and information about the pandemic,” he said. “The fine is not intended to raise funds or make a political statement. It aims to ensure public safety. “
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While Big 10 Football recently announced his return to the pitch, Shontz said he was personally happy that football is back, but that his officers will continue to put public safety first.
“We know there will be people coming to town for the Ohio State game,” he said. “People want to experience State College and football on Saturdays in the fall. People want to come back to it. We expect people to come to town, but that won’t be a game-changer for us. It’s good to be back in football, but that won’t change much here.
To report a mask wearing violation, call 814-234-7150.