State officials, Dec. 10, announced what they called “temporary” mitigation measures intended to stop the recent surge of COVID-19 positive cases and fatalities.
The measures take effect at 12:01 a.m. tomorrow (Saturday, Dec. 12) and are set to expire at 8 a.m. Monday, Jan. 4, 2021, according to the announcement.
Specifically, the measures prohibit the following:
• All in-person indoor dining at bars, restaurants, breweries, wineries, distilleries, social clubs and private catered events.
• Indoor gatherings and events of more than 10 people.
• Outdoor gatherings and events of more than 50 people.
• Indoor operations at gyms and fitness centers.
• All in-person indoor businesses in the entertainment industry (i.e. theaters, concert venues, museums, movie theaters, arcades, casinos, bowling alleys, private clubs, and all other similar facilities.)
• All competitive sports in K-12 schools (public and private) and in club, travel, recreational, intramural and intermural.
The following activities may continue under certain conditions.
• Outdoor dining, takeout food service and takeout alcohol sales.
• Religious services at churches, synagogues, temples, mosques and other places of congregate worship. However, state officials said “these institutions are strongly encouraged to find alternative methods for worship, as in person gatherings pose a significant risk to participants at this time.”
• All in-person businesses serving the public may operate only at up to 50 percent of the maximum capacity, as stated on their certificate of occupancy “except as limited by existing orders to a smaller capacity limit.”
• Outdoor fitness activities may continue, but all participants must wear face coverings and practice physical distancing requirements.
• Professional and collegiate sports. However, spectators can not attend in-person.
In announcing the protective measures, Gov. Tom Wolf stated, “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 work we do now to slow the spread of COVID-19 is not only crucial to keeping our fellow Pennsylvanians safe and healthy,” Wolf added. “It will help all of us get back to normal, and back to all of the things we’ve missed, faster. And it means more Pennsylvanians will be alive to celebrate that brighter future. This year, we show our love for our families and friends by celebrating safely and protecting one another.”