Schools, businesses, restaurants all affected by new state mitigation efforts

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Gov. Tom Wolf and Dr. Rachel Levine announced new efforts to mitigate spread of COVID-19

HARRISBURG, DAUPHIN COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — Pennsylvania restaurants, businesses and schools will all be affected by new mitigation efforts announced by Governor Tom Wolf in a press conference Thursday.

All indoor dining must cease under the new restrictions. Non-essential retailers may remain open unlike the first round of restrictions but occupancies will be limited to 50% of building capacity. Outdoor dining and takeout may continue but suject to law and other orders issued by the state.

New gathering limitations now cap indoor gatherings at 10 people and outdoor gatherings at 50. Churches, synagogues and other places of religious worship are exempt from these restrictions during times of service but are encouraged to find different ways to continue ceremonies.

Schools will have to cancel all in-person extracurricular activities including sports and tournaments. Educators are encouraged to hold extracurricular activities virtually. Professional and college sports can continue but with no spectators.

Indoor gyms must close but outdoor classes may continue provided that they can follow all orders mandated by the state government and health department.

“Today I am announcing additional, temporary COVID-19 protective mitigation measures in the commonwealth,” said Gov. Wolf. “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.”

All businesses in the entertainment industry must close as well. Theaters, concert venues, museums, movie theaters, arcades, casinos, bowling alleys, private clubs, and all other similar facilities, are prohibited from operation.   

The new efforts will go into effect at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, December 12 until 8 a.m. on Monday, January 4.

“The work we do now to slow the spread of COVID-19 is not only crucial to keeping our fellow Pennsylvanians safe and healthy,” Gov. Wolf said. “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.”

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