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Mayor denying all permits for mass gatherings in July

Mayor Derek Slaughter said he has denied permits for all mass gatherings during July due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

That would stop the proposed meeting of the neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement rally that was considering applying for a permit for July 18, according to Slaughter.

Lycoming County remains in a green phase of Gov. Tom Wolf’s plan to reopen the state economy.

Despite the state General Assembly voting to end Wolf’s emergency declaration, Wolf has refused to sign and it remains legally alive as a measure by Wolf and state Department of Health to control the spread of the deadly virus, which is seeing spikes in several other states.

Meanwhile, the neo-Nazi group had received a permit for a rally in Brandon Park on April 18. That was postponed due to the same virus restrictions for mass gatherings by the mayor.

More recently, City Council voted to effectively allow the mayor’s declaration or proclamations to control spread of the disease, which had been amended about every two weeks, to expire.

The latest guidelines in the city resolution which has expired were to follow the governor’s office recommendations.

In the green phase, the governor is recommended that no more than 250 people gather at any public event. Telework is encouraged but not necessary and masks should be worn in stores and in locations with several people in close proximity such as businesses and work place environments.

The green phase is the final phase before there is no phase and there is a “new normal” for Pennsylvania, said Dr. Rachel Levine, health secretary.

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