Local COVID-19 restrictions are changing

Another step in the direction of a normal life



Rylea Townsend, Writer

Recently, Governor Wolf has revised and changed some of the COVID-19 guidelines for Pennsylvania and, more specifically, the Lehigh Valley. With vaccinations, the cases in PA have potential to decrease significantly. The CDC also has altered some of its previous regulations for dealing with COVID-19 in schools across the United States. 

Starting on April 4, restaurants were able to raise their indoor dining capacity to 75 percent for restaurants that are self-certified or become self-certified. For restaurants that aren’t self-certified, the indoor capacity was raised to 50 percent. Restaurants were also able to resume bar service and stop enforcing the curfew for removing alcoholic beverages from the tables of customers. Despite the higher capacities, freshman student Daniel Lanning said he still wouldn’t be inclined to eat in a restaurant.

“I already felt uncomfortable going into restaurants, and with the new indoor capacity, I feel like even more people will be there, and it will be even more unsafe than it already was,” stated Lanning. However, this might not be the case, considering more and more of the Pennsylvania population is receiving the COVID-19 vaccines.

The vaccines currently available in this area are the Moderna vaccine, the Pfizer vaccine, and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines consist of a series of two shots, and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is only one shot.

At Lehigh Valley Health Network, vaccine appointments are currently open to patients in Pennsylvania’s phase 1A, as well as patients included in Phase 1B. Phase 1C was recently opened on April 12, and The Pennsylvania Department of Health also stated that Phase 2 will open shortly after on April 19, 2021.

Phase 2 is an important phase because it allows all people who were not covered in the previous phases who don’t have a physical objection to the vaccine to be vaccinated. This could mean big changes in PA regulations, since a majority of the population would be able to be vaccinated. It also could lead to a big change in school guidelines, considering anyone sixteen years or older could receive the vaccine.

The CDC has also updated their school regulations. As of March 29, the CDC began recommending at least three feet between students rather than the previous and widely known six feet. They also removed their recommendation for physical barriers between students. Just because students can get closer does not mean life is back to normal in schools. Masking is still enforced and necessary, and the CDC states that proper ventilation in schools is important in order to avoid contracting the virus.

What does this mean for Saucon students? When asked if she would feel comfortable with the closer distances, freshman student Cora Garippa said, “I don’t think it’s a good idea yet, not everyone is vaccinated and kids are reckless when it comes to COVID-19.”

She also disagrees with the idea of lighter restrictions at school. “I feel like kids already don’t follow the restrictions, and if they were less demanding, it might be worse than it already is.”

While some students may disagree and believe that new regulations should be implemented, everyone has one thing in common: wanting life to safely go back to normal. Although things will never be quite the same as they were before the pandemic, students can begin to get excited about the positive changes and developments as life ambles back to normal.