Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf announced during a news conference Thursday afternoon a slew of new temporary Covid-19 restrictions amid the state’s Covid-19 surge.
“We all hoped it would not come to this,” the governor said. “The current state of the surge in Pennsylvania though will not allow us to wait.”
Starting Dec. 12 through Jan. 4, all indoor dining, along with indoor operation of gyms and fitness facilities, will be prohibited. Outdoor dining and takeout services will still be permitted.
Indoor gatherings will be capped at 10 people, and outdoor gatherings at 50 people, while places of worship will be “specifically excluded,” a release from the governor’s office explained.
In-person businesses in the entertainment industry, meanwhile, such as movie theaters, museums, and casinos will also be prohibited from operation.
“We need to slow the spread right now in order to save lives. If we don’t, we’re going to be in big trouble,” Wolf said.
Additionally, all in-person businesses serving the public must operate up to 50% maximum occupancy, unless an existing local rule limits occupancy further.
Finally, all K-12 sports will be paused, along with in-person extracurricular activities.
Professional and collegiate sports may continue, albeit without in-person spectators, and in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state health guidance.
By the numbers: The new restrictions come as the state health department reported a record daily increase of 248 coronavirus-related deaths earlier Thursday, along with 11,972 additional Covid-19 cases.
The statewide totals now stand at 12,010 associated fatalities and 457,289 cases, including probable ones.