Downtown Lewisburg. Photo by the Lewisburg Borough

Lewisburg, Pa. -- Gatherings of more than 25 people with alcohol will require a permit in Lewisburg. The decision was decided during Tuesday's borough meeting as a response to worries over increasing COVID-19 cases in Union county. 

The past week saw a drastic increase in positive cases–over 70 newly confirmed cases–many of which are a result of the outbreak at the Lewisburg Federal Penitentiary.

Related Reading: USP Lewisburg still at 35 positive COVID-19 cases, quarantines inmates in cells

Previously, the local ordinance required a permit for gatherings of 75 or more people. 

"We dropped the number 75 down to 25 because in the era of coronavirus, having 75 people gather at a party either inside or outside is problematic," Lewisburg Councilman, Michael Derman, told WNEP

"The goal here is we're trying to make clear that we're taking the virus and the restrictions on activity inside and outside seriously by making this ordinance and publicizing that it's there." 

Bucknell University students will be returning to campus for the Fall semester, which also has local officials concerned. Bucknell is ranked #9 in the Princeton Review's list of top party schools. The stricter requirement on gatherings is, in part, a preemptive effort to prevent large parties or gatherings among the student population. 

The ordinance will be enforced by the Buffalo Valley Regional Police Department. 

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