New COVID-19 mitigation efforts target schools, businesses and social gatherings

Coronavirus in Pennsylvania

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Following new COVID-19 models projecting 22,000 new cases per day in Pennsylvania in December, Governor Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine announced Monday, new mitigation efforts targeting schools, businesses and social gatherings as the holiday season approaches.

Requirements to schools safety

The Wolf Administration is requiring Pre-K to 12 public schools in counties that have been in the substantial transmission level for at least two consecutive weeks, to commit to enhanced safety measures to ensure the safety and well-being of students and educators. Schools willing to opt-out must transition to fully remote learning without all extra-curricular activities. As of Friday, Nov. 20, there are 59 counties that have maintained substantial transmission levels for at least two consecutive weeks.

Revised and reissued orders to businesses

The administration is also revising and reissuing its orders to protect businesses, customers, and employees by reiterating cleaning and social distancing requirements and mandatory telework requirements unless impossible. Online sales and curbside pickup for all shopping are encouraged.

The introduction of liability protection for all businesses has also been implemented. Businesses will receive immunity from civil liability only as related to the Secretary’s masking order given that individuals and entities are engaged in essential emergency services activities and disaster services activities when enforcing the order.

Advisements and Social gathering limitations

All large events and gatherings are now reduced until further notice. In addition, the retail food services industry, including bars, restaurants, and privately catered events must end alcohol sales for on-site consumption at 5 p.m. on Nov. 25, 2020 only.

Maximum Occupancy Calculator for indoor events:  

 Maximum Occupancy  Allowable Indoor Rate  
0-2,000 people  10% of Maximum Occupancy  
2,001 – 10,000 people  5% of Maximum Occupancy  
Over 10,000 people  No events over 500 people  

Maximum Occupancy Calculator for outdoor events: 

Maximum Occupancy  Allowable Outdoor Rate  
0-2,000 people  15% of Maximum Occupancy  
2,001 – 10,000 people  10% of Maximum Occupancy  
Over 10,000 people  5% of Maximum Occupancy up to 2,500 people  

Household gatherings are also discouraged when attendees include non-household members.

“We are in a very dangerous situation, and we need to work together to stop the spread of COVID-19 right now because if we give in to the virus, we will lose many more Pennsylvanians,” Gov. Wolf said. “And that is unacceptable.”

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