Reports: Statewide Business Restrictions Will Be Announced Wednesday
A report Tuesday night says Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf will announce sweeping business and social restrictions Wednesday he believes will curb increases in COVID-19 cases recently.
One thing it’s certain to do is anger thousands of business owners across Pennsylvania, many at the height of their busiest season for the year.
According to WOLF-TV, Wolf will announce these statewide business and social restrictions during a “press” conference on Wednesday afternoon. The restrictions are likely to take effect Saturday.
UPDATE: Soon after WOLF-TV’s report circulated far and wide, a spokesperson for Gov. Wolf said this report isn’t true.
Just in case it is, here’s what WOLF is reporting:
Wolf to Announce New COVID Restrictions in Pennsylvania
Here are the restrictions as they’re being reported Wednesday night by WOLF-TV:
Pennsylvania will ban indoor dining at restaurants starting Saturday, Dec. 12. That restriction will stay in place until Jan. 4.
Restaurants are among the most affected businesses in Pennsylvania by the Governor’s lockdown efforts. It’s the one type of business that people who undergo a state-sponsored contact tracing investigation say they’ve visited more than others, the state reports. The state also reports simultaneously that its contact tracing efforts have been impeded by people not answering their phones when traces try to contact them.
All outdoor gatherings in Pennsylvania will reportedly be further limited in their capacity crowd. Under the restrictions to be announced Wednesday, crowds must be capped at 10% of the square footage of the outdoor gathering space. The limit is 2,000 people, no matter the space, according to WOLF-TV.
Also, no food or beverages can be served at these events because the Governor and Health Dept. want people to keep their masks on at all times at these gatherings.
The state is going to try and ban indoor gatherings involving people from more than a single household.
That, of course, would include any Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year’s Eve and other holiday celebrations.
High Schools and Colleges Must Go Virtual
The state is also going to force colleges and high schools to do conduct classes 100% virtually until these restrictions are lifted. This goes against recent advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that urged schools not to close.
Youth sports will be canceled, according to the reporting on these new lockdown measures.
The new business lockdown restrictions also affect the following businesses. They’ll be forced to close entirely under the new guidance, as it’s being reported Wednesday night:
- Bowling alleys
- Indoor pools
Here’s a live video of WOLF reporting this breaking news earlier tonight:
On Monday, Wolf said that hospitals in Pennsylvania were nearing a dangerous tipping point.
“If we don’t slow the spread of this dangerous virus now, the reality is that COVID-19 will overwhelm our hospitals and our health care workers,” Gov Wolf said. ‘That’s dangerous for everyone who needs medical care in a hospital for any reason, because it stretches resources and staff to the breaking point.”