HARRISBURG – Governor Tom Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine announced stricter COVID-19 mitigation orders Thursday. The new, temporary orders take effect at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, December 12, and remain in effect until 8 a.m. on January 4, 2021.
New mitigation orders announced Thursday include:
- All in-person, indoor dining is prohibited.
- Indoor gatherings of more than 10 persons are prohibited; Outdoor gatherings limit more than 50 – Churches, synagogues, temples, mosques, and other places of congregate worship are specifically excluded, but are strongly encouraged to find alternative methods for worship
- All in-person businesses may only operate at up to 50% of maximum capacity.
- Indoor operations at gyms and fitness facilities are prohibited.
- All in-person businesses in the entertainment industry such as theaters, concert venues, museums, movie theaters, are prohibited from operation.
- All sports at K-12 schools are paused.
- Voluntary school activities such as clubs, dances, and school plays are suspended but may be held virtually.
- Professional or collegiate sports may continue in accordance with mitigation guidance but in-person spectators are not allowed.
- Churches, synagogues, temples, mosques and other places of congregate worship are excluded from these limitations but are strongly encouraged to find alternate methods for worship.
Governor Wolf says he hopes these new mitigation measures will accomplish three things, “First, I want to stop the devastating spread of COVID-19. Second, I want to keep our hospitals and health care workers from becoming overwhelmed. Third, I want to help Pennsylvanians get through the holiday season safely.”
When asked if anymore help is coming to the restaurant industry hit hard once again, the governor says there maybe some federal help on the way that he supports, “Its what they’re calling a compromise that actually includes help for restaurants, but I will look at anything with the General Assembly that we can do here in the short term to make sure we help those restaurants. There’s no questions restaurants and bars are really hit by this and we’re coming into a really tough time for this mitigation to take place.”
The governor was also asked about the timing of these new mitigation and he says the spread has gotten exponentially worse than earlier in the fall, “The holiday season is really…we think…stems for families getting together…the heavy travel that took place over thanksgiving…I don’t think anybody foresaw that. The hope was the things I did put into place would get us through the Thanksgiving season. It didn’t work out as well as it hoped it would.”