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With coronavirus cases rising, the Borough Council in Bellefonte considered adopting a masking ordinance that will force local police to fine residents, visitors and businesses up to $300 if they are seen not wearing a mask — indoors or outdoors.

A petition was started by Jeff Puhala, opposing the ordinance, which has collected over 200 signatures so far.

One of the signatures was Centre County Sheriff Byran Sampsel. At this time, The Daily Collegian has not received a statement from the sheriff about why he signed the petition.

Puhala argued in the petition that the ordinance is unconstitutional and violates the residents' Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Assembly. To support his claim, Puhala said positive coronavirus cases have not hit 500 in the 16823 zip code to date.

Within the petition, Puhala also states that there is no statistical data that confirms passing someone on the sidewalk without a mask will spread coronavirus.

Puhala asks the borough in the petition to reject the consideration of the ordinance and promote state masking guidelines to residents and visitors of Bellefonte Borough.



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