Pennsylvania officials on Monday announced they will temporarily ban the sale of alcohol from bars and restaurants starting the day before Thanksgiving as coronavirus cases surge across the state.
Gov. Tom WolfTom WolfPennsylvania K-12 mask mandate rejected by state court Overnight Health Care — Presented by Rare Access Action Project — White House unshaken by mandate ruling Pennsylvania governor allowing school districts to modify, end mask mandate MORE (D) and Secretary of Health Rachel LevineRachel LevineBiden mourns loss of transgender Americans who died by violence in 2021 Indiana congressman regains control of Twitter account but stands by post that misgendered official Hillicon Valley — Facebook news dominates the day MORE said the one-day ban would go into effect at 5 p.m. ET on Wednesday and would be lifted at 8 a.m. on Thanksgiving, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported.
"It turns out that the biggest day for drinking is the Wednesday before Thanksgiving," Wolf said, according to CNN. "When people get together in that situation, it leads to an increase in the exchange of fluids, that leads to an increase in infection."
Executives with the Distilled Spirits Council, a national trade association, condemned the order.
"After shutting down all state liquor stores at the beginning of the pandemic, Governor Wolf once again takes the path of least resistance by shutting down alcohol sales for struggling restaurants and bars," David Wojnar, vice president of state government relations at the Distilled Spirits Council, said in a statement.
Wojnar argued that "times are hard enough" for small businesses around the Keystone State, calling on Wolf to "be looking for more ways" to amplify small companies and not take away critical revenue streams.
Meanwhile, Levine and Wolf announced an additional stay-at-home advisory beginning Monday, enforcing indoor dining capacity to remain at 25 percent to 50 percent, allowing retail accommodation to stay at 75 percent, and permitting gyms and salons to operate at 50 percent capacity.
Cases have risen dramatically in recent weeks, as the state reported a seven-day rolling average of 6,304 new daily cases last week. In early October, those figures were in the hundreds.