What “normal” will look like in York and Lancaster counties this holiday weekend

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YORK AND LANCASTER COUNTIES, Pa. (WHTM) — Epidemiologists aren’t sure whether COVID-19 will ever truly disappear, but one thing is increasingly clear: Summer 2021 will be a lot more “normal” than Summer 2020. And this normal-ish summer is set to begin with the first normal-ish holiday weekend in more than a year.

“We’re all excited for things to go back to normal,” said Karl Ross, owner of Laserdome — a laser tag arena and arcade — in Manheim. At the indoor Laserdome, normal still includes masks when people aren’t eating — Ross said he surveyed managers and found they and customers weren’t quite ready to go maskless, although that could change as soon as early next week.

He said throughout the pandemic, Laserdome has actually been more careful than required. For example, when capacity was capped at 50 percent, he doesn’t even allow the venue to be half full because that didn’t allow for social distancing.

One COVID-era change there that’ll be permanent: Less emphasis on prizes won by collecting tickets, in exchange for unlimited arcade games. Ross made the change because the prize counter was problematic from a sanitary perspective. But “our customers actually end up loving the unlimited arcade, and so we’re gonna stick with that,” he said.

In York, the Atlantic League’s York Revolution played an intra-squad game Tuesday in advance of Friday night’s season opener against the High Point (North Carolina) Rockers. At PeoplesBank Park, fully vaccinated fans can go maskless the whole time, although not all seats will be filled for early-season games. Doug Eppler, the team’s director of marketing and communication, said that’s partly to keep a promise to fans who purchased tickets in pods — separated from other pods by empty seats — back before how things would look by now.

Another way to look on the bright side?

“I think we’re all going to treasure this season more so than ever,” Eppler said. “Four or five months ago, we weren’t sure we were going to be able to open at all.”

He said tickets remain for Friday’s through Monday’s games, and tickets for Monday are free for military veterans. Monday, of course, is Memorial Day, and because baseball season doesn’t include Veterans Day, Eppler said the team gives living veterans their extra-special day this weekend.

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