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Masks to no longer be required in county buildings

Lycoming County commissioners announced Tuesday that masks are no longer required to be worn by people inside county buildings.

The decision to wear masks to help protect people from coronavirus infection will be left up to the individual, they said.

“I believe they should be optional,” Commissioner Scott Metzger said..

Metzger said the decision to no longer require masks came from a team of county officials involved with COVID-19 issues.

He noted the low numbers of new coronavirus cases in the county in the past two weeks.

“We have 173 (total) cases right now,” he said. “To have 173 cases over a 13-week time frame speaks volumes that our residents took this seriously.”

Mussare said, “Does that mean we let our guard down? No. I trust my colleagues wouldn’t put anyone in jeopardy. I will be the first to admit that if we start to see those numbers go up in a drastic way, we will talk about wearing masks.”

Commissioner Rick Mirabito said he feels people should wear masks.

“Wearing masks protects the vulnerable,” he said. “Not necessarily me. I ask my colleagues to consider that. I guess in the scheme of things it’s not asking much.”

Metzger said everyone should be commended for demonstrating responsible behavior during the pandemic.

But he noted that businesses have to get back to normal operations.

Mirabito reminded everyone that about 3,000 of the county’s 113,000 people have been tested for the coronavirus, and other people may have the virus but show no symptoms of infection.

“We could have a resurgence in the fall,” he said.

County Coroner Charles Kiessling said of the people who were infected by COVID-19 and died, many were elderly with other health issues.

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