By Micheal Alberto
Two weeks ago the Kutztown Borough Council passed an ordinance by a 4-2 vote that included limitations on the amount of people at gatherings, social distancing guidelines, the requirement of wearing face coverings and enforced fines on businesses and homeowners that violated these regulations. Additionally, the Council voted 6-0 to delay the part of the ordinance that would restrict social gatherings in homes to 10 or fewer people, just four days after the initial ordinance had been passed..
The initial vote was a step in the right direction. Considering many students were returning to KU campus or coming onto campus for the first time, it was important that the borough took precautions to help protect its residents.
However, the unilateral decision to delay the restrictions of social gatherings to 10 or fewer people is a mistake on the borough’s part. As seen in other countries, one of the most effective ways to contain the spread of the virus is to restrict travel and ban large gatherings.
Allowing for the possibility of large gatherings in homes will only enable people to disregard the seriousness of COVID-19. The decision to keep gatherings unrestricted is not based in science, but in politics, fueling the everlasting problem this country has had in regards to combating the pandemic.
Kutztown University freshman Caitlin Carone feels similarly, stating, “I am glad the first ordinance passed. These precautions should have been passed a long time ago. However, I don’t agree with the outcome of the second decision. In a pandemic, people should not be having more than 10 people in their homes at a time. It is dangerous and will contribute to the spread of the virus.”
As of now, the borough is enforcing mask wearing and social distancing restrictions. However, parts of Governor Wolf’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic have been ruled unconstitutional. It is unclear how far the borough’s power extends.