Governor Tom Wolf announced today new measures he is ordering due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases in Pennsylvania. The order goes into effect on Saturday, December 12th at 12:01 a.m. and will end on Monday, January 4th at 8:00 a.m.
The governor outlined three goals in connection to the order. The first is to stop the spread of the virus, followed by preventing hospitals from being overwhelmed and to keep Pennsylvania residents safe through the holiday season (and the availability of vaccines).
Below are the specific limitations placed on various businesses and institutions:
- All in-person indoor dining at businesses in the retail food services industry, including, but not limited to, bars, restaurants, breweries, wineries, distilleries, social clubs, and private catered events is prohibited.
- Outdoor dining, take-out food service, and take-out alcohol sales are permitted and may continue, subject to any limitations or restrictions imposed by Pennsylvania law, or this or any other Order issued by the Sec. of Health or by the governor.
Indoor Gatherings & Events
- Indoor gatherings and events of more than 10 persons are prohibited.
- Churches, synagogues, temples, mosques, and other places of congregate worship are specifically excluded from the limitations set forth above during religious services, these institutions are strongly encouraged to find alternative methods for worship, as in person gatherings pose a significant risk to participants at this time. While this an incredibly difficult recommendation to make, particularly at this time of year, faith leaders must carefully weigh the health risks to their congregants given the immense amount of community spread of COVID-19.
Outdoor Gatherings & Events
- Outdoor gatherings and events of more than 50 persons are prohibited.
Capacity Limits for Businesses
- All in-person businesses serving the public may only operate at up to 50% of the maximum capacity stated on the applicable certificate of occupancy, except as limited by existing orders to a smaller capacity limit.
Gyms and Fitness Facilities
- Indoor operations at gyms and fitness facilities are prohibited.
- Outdoor facilities and outdoor classes can continue, but all participants must wear face coverings in accordance with the Sec. of Health’s Updated Order Requiring Universal Face Coverings, including any subsequent amendments, and practice physical distancing requirements.
- All in-person businesses in the entertainment industry serving the public within a building or indoor defined area, including, but not limited to, theaters, concert venues, museums, movie theaters, arcades, casinos, bowling alleys, private clubs, and all other similar entertainment, recreational or social facilities, are prohibited from operation.
In-Person Extracurricular School Activities
- Voluntary activities sponsored or approved by a school entity’s governing body or administration are suspended, but these extracurricular activities may be held virtually. This includes, but is not limited to, attendance at or participation in activities such musical ensembles, school plays, student council, clubs, and school dances.
K-12 School Sports and Youth Sports
- All sports at K-12 public schools, nonpublic schools, private schools and club, travel, recreational, intermural, and intramural sports are paused.
Professional and Collegiate Sports
- Professional or collegiate sports activities may continue in accordance with guidance from the CDC and the Department of Health.
- Spectators may not attend such sports activities in person.
Outlined in the announcement are studies connected to each industry and activity impacted. You can find the full announcement here. You can watch the video of the announcement below:
Photo: Commonwealth of PA