Pennsylvania governor bans indoor dining, gyms under new virus order
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) unveiled a new set of coronavirus restrictions Thursday in an attempt to mitigate the spread of the disease.
Under the restrictions, all indoor dining will be closed, while outdoor dining and take-out services can continue.
Indoor gatherings and events of more than 10 people are prohibited, with the exception of places of worship such as churches, synagogues and mosques. Outdoor gatherings of over 50 people will also be prohibited.
Additionally, all in-person businesses that serve the public can operate at 50 percent capacity. Indoor operations at gyms and fitness facilities are prohibited, as well as all in-person entertainment such as theaters, concert venues and museums.
The restrictions will go into effect Saturday and will remain in place until Jan. 4.
Each of the last two days, Pennsylvania has reported its highest number of coronavirus deaths since the pandemic began, Health Secretary Rachel Levine said in a statement.
The state has reported 1,100 new deaths over the past week, pushing to overall death toll past 12,000.
In addition, there have been 9,500 cases of the virus among children ages 5-18 in the past two weeks.
“The virus continues to strain our health care systems,” Levine said. “And the dramatic rise in cases among all age groups, including among school-age children, is alarming.”
The U.S. is facing a new surge in coronavirus cases likely driven by people spending more time indoors due to the colder weather and holiday season.
Wolf has tested positive for the virus, while his wife, Frances Wolf, announced on Thursday that she tested negative. Her husband is still in isolation, and continues to be asymptomatic, his office said.
The Keystone State has seen 457,289 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health.