Pennsylvania Placing New Restrictions on Restaurants, Bars & Workplaces, As COVID-19 Cases Surge
New restrictions are coming to Pennsylvania as COVID-19 cases rise across the state and country.
Pennsylvania's Governor Tom Wolf announced new restrictions on the operation of state's bars, restaurants, and other businesses on Wednesday. This marks a bit of a "rolling back" of some of the state's loosed COVID-19 restrictions as the state reached the green phase.
Among the changes announced during Wednesday's press conference were:
- Bars and restaurants will be allowed to seat people indoors at just 25% of their capacity (currently they're allowed up to 50% occupancy).
- Music and nightclubs will be required to close indefinitely.
- Alcohol can only be served for on-premises consumption when in the same transaction as a meal.
- Telework is mandatory in workplaces where its possible.
The take-out sales or sale of to-go cocktails, which are consumed off-premises, remain OK. No changes are expected immediately to the rules surrounding outdoor dining.
Governor Wolf cited the concerning trend of COVID-19 cases in Pennsylvania. The state reported 994 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday. At the peak, the state reported 2,000 cases per day in mid-April. The state now has had a total of 97,665 COVID-19 cases since the outbreak began in March.
“During the past week, that has especially been bad. Medical experts, looking at our current trajectory, are projecting that a new surge is in the offing, and what we’re seeing right now could soon be even worse than what we saw before," the governor said.
However, he reminds us that we have learned a lot about the virus in that time to curate these plans to prevent a widespread lockdown.
"Other states have become Petri dishes for COVID-19 during the time we worked to contain the spread," Wolf said during today's press conference. "This virus knows no boundaries and borders and has reached our Commonwealth once again."
"We don't want to become Florida, we don't want to become Texas, we don't want to become Arizona. We have to act now," the governor said.
Wolf reminded Pennsylvanians that they can gather (socially distanced and wearing a mask) in parks and in private spaces.
"By acting now, and making these specific and targeting mitigation efforts statewide, we can get ahead of the curve," Pennsylvania's Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said on Wednesday.