Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf announced new limits on crowd sizes for outdoor and indoor events on Tuesday.
While the move was mildly celebrated by the public and the mainstream media that’s simply acted as Wolf’s megaphone during the coronavirus pandemic, everyone forgot to think about what they were reporting.
The new crowd size limits make no sense.
For a guy who claims he’s following the data and science, it’s clear that math isn’t one of those sciences he’s following here.
New Crowd Size Limits Imposed by Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf Prove Math is Hard
No, math clearly isn’t one of Wolf’s strong suits, based on the updated crowd size guidance he issued Tuesday for Pennsylvania.
First, let’s spell out his new crowd limits and then we’ll explain why they make no sense at all. These go into effect on Friday, Oct. 9, at 12:01 a.m.
Outdoor Event Crowd Limits
Rather than picking a hard number as he did in the past (and were ruled unconstitutional), Wolf decided to measure against capacity size of a venue. Even Wolf admitted his original numbers were arbitrary. Under his old order, outdoor gatherings could only have up to 250 people in attendance.
Here are the new guidelines for crowds at outdoor events:
- 0-2,000 capacity: 25% of maximum occupancy
- 2,001-10,000 capacity: 20% of maximum occupancy
- 10,001+ capacity: 15% of maximum occupancy (capped at 7,500 people)
Indoor Event Crowd Limits
And here are the new guidelines for indoor events:
- 0-2,000 capacity: 20% of maximum occupancy
- 2,001-10,000 capacity: 15% of maximum occupancy
- 10,001+ capacity: 10% of maximum occupancy (capped at 3,750 people)
New Crowd Limits in Pennsylvania Defy Logic
Wolf says we should trust the data and science but this is just another example in his pandemic response which does neither.
Here are just a few examples of how Wolf’s new plan makes zero sense:
- An outdoor venue with a 2,000-person capacity can have 500 people in attendance (25% of 2,000). However, a venue with a capacity of 2,001 can only have 400 people in attendance. A venue with a 2,500-person capacity can only have the same max crowd as a 2,000-person capacity.
- An outdoor venue with a 10,000-person capacity can allow in 2,000 people. But a venue with the capacity to hold 10,001 people can only hold half that crowd, 1,000. And a venue with a 20,000-person capacity can only hold the same amount of people as a 10,000-person capacity venue.
It’s just as nutty for indoor venues. Sure, it’s better than a 25-person limit but the new policy still defies logic:
- An indoor venue with a 2,000-person capacity can have 400 people inside. But an indoor venue with a 2,001-person capacity can only have 300 people admitted. A venue with a capacity of 2,675 is limited to the same size crowd as a 2,000-person venue.
- If an indoor venue can hold 10,000 people, it can allow a crowd up to 1,500 people. But if a venue can hold 11,000 people, the new guidelines cap the crowd at just 1,100, 400 people less than a smaller venue.
Don’t even try to make sense of these restrictions. It’s not going to happen.
And it’s not as though Wolf and health officials rushed this through and forgot to check their numbers to see if they made sense. Last week, Wolf indicated that he’d announce new crowd size limitations but let the weekend pass and didn’t announce them until Tuesday morning.
That means these nonsense numbers are the result of him thinking about this for at least 3 days, likely more. And in the end, they still defy logic and ignore math and science.
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