Barron letter supports borough proposal to reduce COVID risks

August 03, 2020

I write to express support for the ordinance to reduce the risk of transmission of the COVID-19 virus within our community that you will consider on Aug. 4, 2020. Further, I urge you to pass the strongest ordinance possible to encourage and enforce face coverings, limit persons waiting in lines outside of businesses and limit gathering sizes in households and elsewhere. The combination of a strong ordinance, an active communications campaign that supports it and enforcement is the best way to promote the health and safety of our community. 

Penn State is incorporating many of these same limitations on our campuses. The University is requiring face coverings on campus, limiting the size of classes, requiring students and employees to honor physical distancing requirements, limiting travel opportunities and reconfiguring all spaces to limit density. We have worked with the Interfraternity Council to announce a moratorium on all socials. We have restricted visitors to on-campus housing, and asked local landlords to be diligent in monitoring activities at their rental properties. In addition, the University is holding classes on Labor Day to deter travel away from campus, and is transitioning to fully remote instruction after the Thanksgiving break. As members of this community, University leaders – including myself – value our ongoing partnership with the borough and other local municipalities, understanding that it is just such a partnership that will help us minimize risk and promote behaviors that help protect everyone.

If we are going to be successful in returning students to campus, returning employees to work and in safely bringing customers to businesses in our community, we must work together to not only encourage, but enforce, the best public health practices. I view the draft ordinance being considered by Borough Council to be a strong and appropriate step in the right direction to maintain consistent expectations on both sides of College Avenue. The health and well-being of everyone in our community is critically important as we move to re-establish a sense of normalcy. I appreciate your consideration of this ordinance and again urge you to pass the strongest possible version of it as soon as possible.  I see this as an important part of our partnership together to support the wellbeing of our communities.

Eric Barron

President, Penn State

 

Last Updated August 03, 2020