Gov. Wolf reinstates COVID-19 restrictions

'What we're seeing could be worse than what we saw'

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HARRISBURG, PA — The news at Gov. Tom Wolf's Wednesday, July 15 press briefing was not good.

The governor reported that a new "surge" in COVID-19 cases is "in the offing," with cases yesterday coming in just shy of 1,000. And medical experts have warned that PA's new surge could be worse than the first, when the peak hit about 2,000 in a single day in April.

The governor said that officials now understand the virus better than before. As a result, the commonwealth's response to the newest surge will be more precise and focused than the "blunt-instrument approach." 

Here's what he's doing to try and mitigate the newest surge:

  • Bars and restaurants that allow indoor dining will only be allowed to operate at 25 percent capacity. The previous restriction was set at 50 percent capacity. Outdoor dining is still permitted.
  • Alcohol can only be served for on-premises consumption if it's with a meal. Cocktails to-go and carry-out beverages will continue as usual.
  • Telework must be implemented, whenever possible.
  • Indoor gatherings will be limited to 25 people, and outdoor gatherings remain at a maximum of 250 people.
  • Gyms and fitness facilities are still permitted to maintain their indoor operations, but are directed to prioritize outdoor physical fitness activities.

The governor named three catalysts for case increases:

1) Pennsylvanians ignoring mask requirements and social distancing at bars and restaurants, causing "pockets of super-spreading."

2)  Out-of-state travelling, both from visitors and residents who travel out-of-state and coming back.

3) Lack of national coordination.

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