Wolf Announces Lifting of COVID-19 Mitigation Orders


Courtesy of Governor Tom Wolfe's Official Website.

Effective May 31, 2021, the state of Pennsylvania will be lifting all COVID-19 mitigation orders.

Sarah Sweeney, Co-News Editor

Effective May 31, 2021, the state of Pennsylvania will be lifting all COVID-19 mitigation orders, Governor Tom Wolf announced on Tuesday. These mitigation orders include all COVID-19 restrictions related to gatherings, restaurants, and other businesses. These orders do not apply to the masking order, which will be lifted when 70% of Pennsylvania adults are fully vaccinated. 

As of Wednesday, 51.2% of Pennsylvania’s population has received at least one dose of the vaccine, with 34.1% of the population having received both doses. As of the time of publication, Pennsylvania has administered 10,914,558 doses of the vaccine so far. 

This news comes on top of the CDC’s announcement of new guidelines allowing fully vaccinated people to go outside maskless, provided they are not at a crowded gathering, as well as Biden’s announcement of his plan to fully vaccinate 70% of US adults by July 4th.

Many restaurant and business owners are excited about this new plan.

“Excellent timing with summer around the corner,” said Sean Keenan, chef at The Crossbar in Havertown, Delaware County. “We’ll have to be prepared staffing-wise, as we get bigger orders for the people who want to come in and enjoy our food and the atmosphere here.”

Others, however, are not too quick to get excited by what may appear to be a highly-anticipated end to the pandemic, acknowledging all the irreparable havoc it wreaked. 

“The definitive timeline will allow owners and operators time to plan, but for far too many businesses who shuttered over the last few months, this announcement is too late,” said John Longstreet, president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association.

Students, too, have mixed feelings about the announcement.

“I am very excited about it,” freshman VSB student Elizabeth Vaughn shared, “I think the state of Pennsylvania has done an impressive job with vaccine distribution,” elaborating on her seamless experience getting the first-dose of the Pfizer vaccine at the Convention Center in Center City, Philadelphia. “I think that within the next few months, everyone who wants to be fully vaccinated will be, and there’s no point in continuing to put our lives on pause for the roughly 30% or so who refuse to be vaccinated.”

Freshman CLAS student Kendra Lewis also shared her excitement, “I know it might still be a while away, but announcements like these are giving me hope for a not-too-distant future in which I can go to concerts again, which is my favorite thing to do.”

Other students, however, have some hesitation surrounding the announcement.

One such student is freshman Biochemistry major Kate Flynn. Flynn explained, “Despite the announcement, I don’t know how comfortable I will be in large groups or not wearing a mask for the foreseeable future. I don’t think those are the kind of things you can put a deadline on.”

Villanova University has not officially commented on the announcement.