Pennsylvania officials have expanded the state's restrictions on COVID-19, as cases continue to surge across the commonwealth (and country). Most notably, all indoor dining and gyms will be required to temporarily close, Governor Wolf announced.

The new, limited-time mitigation orders take effect at 12:01 a.m. on SATURDAY (December 12), and they remain in effect until 8 a.m. on January 4, 2021, the state says.

  • INDOOR DINING: PROHIBITED for this three week period.
    • OUTDOOR DINING: ALLOWED --  including take-out foodservice and take-out alcohol sales.
  • ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY -- PROHIBITED -- All in-person businesses in the entertainment industry (including casinos, bowling alleys, theaters and more must close in this three-week window.
  • INDOOR GATHERINGS: LIMITED TO 10 PERSONS -- gatherings and events of more than 10 persons are prohibited, but churches, synagogues, temples, mosques, and other places of congregate worship are specifically excluded from the limitations set forth above during religious services, the state says.
  • GYMS AND FITNESS CENTERS: MUST CLOSE -- Indoor operations at gyms and fitness facilities are prohibited, the state says.
  • INDOOR BUSINESSES -- All in-person businesses serving the public may only operate at up to 50% of the maximum capacity.
  • SCHOOLS -- All Extracurricular activities (including sports) will be paused during this time.

“Today I am announcing additional, temporary COVID-19 protective mitigation measures in the commonwealth,” said Gov. Wolf.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health today confirmed on Thursday, that there were 11,972 additional positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 457,289.

"With these measures in place, we hope to accomplish three goals: First, stop the devastating spread of COVID-19 in the commonwealth. Second, keep our hospitals and health care workers from becoming overwhelmed. And third, help Pennsylvanians get through the holiday season – and closer to a widely available vaccine – as safely as possible. This is a bridge to a better future in Pennsylvania," the governor announced on Thusday.

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There are 5,852 individuals hospitalized with COVID-19. Of that number, 1,191 patients are in the intensive care unit with COVID-19.

Wolf, Levine and other state officials emphasized that hospitals in the commonwealth are already running low on beds in their intensive care units.

"Over the past two weeks, unfortunately, Pennsylvania's situation has become more dire," Wolf said. "If you didn't know before how urgent the situation is, please pay attention now."

Thursday's press conference marks Governor Wolf's first appearance (virtually) since announcing his positive diagnosis with COVID-19 on Wednesday.

This is a developing story, we'll have more info as it's made available. 

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