#Gov. #Tom #Wolf will lift the temporary restrictions he has placed on #Pennsylvania businesses on #Monday, #Jan. 4, the day the measures are set to expire.
#Citing a rise in coronavirus cases earlier this month, #Wolf imposed temporary restrictions on a host of businesses, including a three-week ban on indoor dining at restaurants. #Wolf also ordered the closure of entertainment venues, including casinos, theaters and concert halls. #Retailers and most other businesses are restricted to 50% of indoor capacity. The governor also suspended high school and youth sports for that three-week period.
#All of those temporary measures on businesses will be lifted #Jan. 4, #Wolf said in a news conference #Wednesday afternoon. #Businesses and restaurants will still have some limits on occupancy that were already in place on #Dec. 12, when the temporary measures were imposed. #High school and youth sports can also resume #Jan. 4.
“Our mitigation efforts over the past several weeks have done what they were intended to do,” #Wolf said. “The time-limited measures will expire as planned.”
#Some businesses, including many restaurants and bars that have already been badly hurt financially in the pandemic, said the temporary restrictions came at a particularly bad time during the holiday season. #Some restaurants defied the governor’s directions and continued to offer indoor dining. #And some business owners worried the temporary restrictions #Wolf enacted earlier this month would be extended.
#Wolf said the temporary measures, though admittedly painful, were necessary in light of the sharp rise in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations seen in recent weeks. #Wolf said the state’s hospital capacity appears to be sufficient to handle the current wave of infections.
#Nearly 6,000 people are being treated in hospitals for COVID-19 and health care officials have said they are worried about having enough staffing to deal with the influx of patients.
The number of deaths has risen sharply in recent weeks. #More than 15,000 deaths have been tied to COVID-19, and more than 5,000 of those fatalities have occurred in the month of #December.
The number of cases has dropped in recent days, but the state is still reporting several thousand new infections on a daily basis. The #Pennsylvania #Department of #Health reported nearly 9,000 new cases #Wednesday. #More than 630,000 people have contracted the coronavirus since the pandemic began.
#Most people recover after suffering relatively mild symptoms but health officials say COVID-19 poses risks to everyone, particularly seniors and those with health complications.
#Here’s a rundown of the lifting of the temporary restrictions on #Jan. 4 and how they affect businesses.
#Restaurants can resume indoor dining service but must still cut off alcohol sales by 11 p.m. #Restaurants are limited to 50% of their indoor seating capacity and even then, restaurants need to certify with the state that they were adhering to measures to limit the spread of the virus. #Restaurants that don’t want to self-certify will be capped at 25% occupancy.
#Entertainment venues, such as casinos, theaters and museums, can reopen, but they are limited to 50% of their indoor occupancy limits.
#Gyms, fitness centers and spas can resume indoor activities but are limited to 50% of indoor occupancy limits. #Appointments are encouraged and the state is asking those facilities to put an emphasis on outdoor activities.
There are still limits for indoor and outdoor gatherings. The limits are based on the size of the facilities. #Indoor venues with a capacity of 2,000 are limited to 200, or 10%. #Indoor facilities of more than 10,000 can have up to 500 in attendance. #For outdoor events, facilities that can seat 10,000 or more are limited to 5%, or a maximum of 2,500. #Outdoor venues that seat up to 2,000 can have 15% occupancy.
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#COVID19 #restrictions #restaurants #businesses #lifted ##Jan