A Harrisburg entertainment venue has announced an update to their mask policy.
Whitaker Center now requires masks for all students through high school, regardless of vaccination status, according to the chief operating officer Meghan Clark.
“We have recently updated our procedures to state that anyone visiting The Center grade 12 or under is required to wear a mask and all other adults are very strongly encouraged to wear masks,” Clark said via email. She also reiterated that anyone who isn’t vaccinated is required to wear a mask, and added that the staff has once again put increased cleaning procedures in place over the past week.
Whitaker Center is home to the 700 seat Sunoco Performance Theatre, as well as the Harsco Science Center and Select Medical Digital Cinema.
The update came in response to new information about the highly transmissible delta variant of COVID-19. On Aug. 3, new data was released by the Center for Disease Control that showed 25 counties in Pennsylvania were now showing substantial spread of COVID-19, including Dauphin County.
Those rising numbers come roughly a week after new guidance on masking was released: the CDC now recommends everyone is advised to wear a mask indoors, including those already vaccinated. The new information has led several retailers, including Wegmans, Home Depot and Walgreens, to once again require face masks for their customers.
Entertainment venues, most of which have only recently reopened to the public, must now weigh if and when they might follow suit.
Some major entertainment destinations, such as Disneyland and Walt Disney World, are once again requiring masks for visitors within the indoor areas of the park. Outdoor areas – such as much of Dauphin County’s Hersheypark, as well as the adjoining Hersheypark Stadium – are not included in the new CDC guidelines for masks.
As of Aug. 4, vaccinated individuals are also still allowed to attend indoor Hershey Entertainment venues, including the Giant Center and the Hershey Theatre, without masks.
Quinn Bryner, director of public relations and strategy with Hershey Entertainment & Resorts, said via email that the company “will continue to monitor conditions closely and evaluate guidance from national and state health experts.”
“We will share any updates to our safety enhancements on our social channels and website as necessary, and we continue to encourage all eligible individuals to get vaccinated,” Bryner said.