Gov. Tom Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine announced Monday new efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 as cases continue to surge as the holidays approach.
Levine says she’s issuing a series of advisories and orders as the administration continues to encourage Pennsylvanians to limit travel and stay at home.
She wanted to remind residents that this is not a shutdown order.
The new mitigation efforts included the following:
Alcohol sales suspended in all bars and restaurants from 5 p.m. Wednesday to 8 a.m. Thanksgiving Day.
Retail stores stay at 75% capacity
Events with more than 500 people indoor are prohibited. More than 2500 outdoor are also prohibited.
There is an increasing enforcement on current public health orders.
Advising against gatherings with people not in your direct household
To discourage crowds gathering Thanksgiving Eve, Levine says state officials are prohibiting the sale of alcohol after 5 p.m. Wednesday.
Thanksgiving Eve is widely considered to be one of the biggest drinking nights of the year.
Wolf says indoor dining and takeout may continue.
“As our hospitals and health care system are facing greater strain, we need to redouble our efforts to keep people safe,” Gov. Wolf said. “If our health care system is compromised, it isn’t only COVID-19 patients who will suffer. If we run out of hospital beds, or if hospital staff are over-worked to the breaking point, care will suffer for every patient – including those who need emergency care for illnesses, accidents, or chronic conditions unrelated to COVID-19.”
Some of the other efforts discussed Monday included strengthening gathering limitations for events.
Wolf says all large events are now reduced until further notice following an update to the “maximum occupancy calculator” for indoor and outdoor events.