Coronavirus Testing, White Building

Students sit six-feet apart waiting for emailed coronavirus test results inside the White Building’s mandatory coronavirus testing center on Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021 in University Park, Pa.

After Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf tweeted Tuesday about the commonwealth’s plans to lift coronavirus mitigation orders at the end of May, many Penn State students wonder how the university will react.

On May 31, coronavirus restrictions on restaurants, gatherings and other businesses will be lifted in Pennsylvania, according to Wolf’s announcement. However, the masking order will be lifted once 70% of Pennsylvania adults have received the coronavirus vaccine.

As a current freshman, Gabby Lee said she’s hoping the fall semester will “be a lot more fun,” as long as students and community members are safe.

“I hope that we can gather safely next semester,” Lee (freshman-communication sciences and disorders) said. “If the majority of people are vaccinated, I would say I’m all for it.”

Currently living in Pennsylvania, Lee said she is excited to have a summer where she can travel and see her friends from home.

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Lee also said she’s looking forward to having some sort of regular college experience in the fall — or so she said she expects.

“I don’t think college will be anything like it used to be, but I’m definitely hoping it’ll be a lot better than this year,” Lee said.

Tyler Danzig said he agreed with Wolf’s announcement that wearing masks will still be necessary.

“I think it’s nice that he took into account herd immunity,” Danzig (junior-meteorology) said. “I saw that he was looking for a 70% threshold.”

Moving into his senior year, Danzig said he thinks the university will transition smoothly into the fall semester with lifted restrictions.

“With students moving off campus over the summer, I think it will give the university time to work out those kinks,” Danzig said. “It’ll be nice to get back to being normal.”

Mitch McCoy said he was initially indifferent toward the lifted restrictions.

“For me, it’s great news, but I’m not super surprised,” McCoy (sophomore-computer science) said.

McCoy said he’s looking forward to traveling more this summer and also said he believes the mask mandate will be lifted soon.

“I’m expecting next year to be completely normal — hopefully,” McCoy said.

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Although many students are focused on what they can this summer with the lifted restrictions, Quinn Mulhern said he was excited for different reasons.

“I think it’s great that everything is beginning to open up, and we can get the economy going again,” Mulhern (junior-meteorology) said. “Obviously, though, the mask-wearing is still necessary until everybody gets vaccinated and we bring down the numbers of [coronavirus] cases.”

Mulhern said as he enters his senior year, he hopes the university follows by lifting its coronavirus restrictions, too.

“I think it [can] be a relatively smooth transition,” Mulhern said. “Although, I’m sure there will be some bumps along the way with how everyone handles the new guidelines.”

Similarly, as a rising senior, Chris Lemmo said he’s looking forward to what the fall semester will hold.

“I’m very optimistic about the fall,” Lemmo (junior-broadcast journalism) said. “Especially as I go into my senior year, I think one of the big things [I’m] looking forward to is being able to go to football games.”

As summer approaches, Lemmo said he thinks Pennsylvania’s transition into the lifted coronavirus mitigations will be “easier.”

“Because it’s the summertime, people will most likely be outdoors more often, rather than if it was in the winter,” Lemmo said. “I think that will bring [coronavirus] cases down.”

While Lemmo said he thinks Wolf lifting coronavirus mitigations will not launch the state back to complete normalcy, he’s excited to see the progress.

“Obviously, this isn’t going to stop coronavirus protocols altogether,” Lemmo said, “but I think it’s a step in the right direction.”

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