PHILADELPHIA (CBS/AP) — Pennsylvania is quickly halting faculty sports activities and different extracurricular actions, ordering gyms, theaters and casinos to shut and banning indoor eating at eating places as state officers reply to an alarming surge in COVID-19 circumstances and hospitalizations with new restrictions. A day after announcing his own COVID-19 diagnosis, Gov. Tom Wolf introduced the extensively anticipated clampdown Thursday in what he mentioned was an effort to sluggish the accelerating unfold of the coronavirus and forestall hospitals from changing into overrun.
“The issue we’re all dealing with is that this virus continues to rage in Pennsylvania, and over the previous a number of weeks it’s grow to be clear we have to take additional mitigation actions to guard Pennsylvanians and cease the unfold of COVID-19,” Wolf mentioned throughout a digital information convention. “All of us hoped it wouldn’t come to this, and that’s the purpose. The present state of the surge in Pennsylvania won’t enable us to attend. We have to sluggish the unfold proper now to be able to save lives. If we don’t, we’re going to be in massive hassle.”
The restrictions embody an indoor gathering restrict of 10 and an outside gathering restrict of fifty. Retail shops might function as much as 50% capability whereas gyms and indoor health facilities will probably be ordered to shut.
Film theaters, live performance venues, museums, casinos, bowling alleys and different leisure venues may even be prohibited, Wolf mentioned.
In-person extracurricular actions at faculties will probably be paused in addition to all sports activities at Okay-12 faculties within the commonwealth, in line with Wolf. Skilled and collegiate sports activities might proceed to function however followers stay banned from attending video games.
Church buildings, synagogues and different locations of worship are excluded from the restrictions however are urged to search out other ways to worship, Wolf mentioned.
The restrictions go into impact at 12:01 a.m. on Dec. 12 till 8 a.m. on Jan. 4, 2021, Wolf mentioned.
Wolf had mentioned on Monday that extra pandemic measures is perhaps wanted to sluggish the unfold of the virus, warning that hospitals have been beneath growing pressure and must begin turning away sufferers in the event that they grow to be overwhelmed.
He examined constructive for the coronavirus a day later and revealed the analysis on Wednesday. He mentioned Thursday he’s feeling tremendous and that his most up-to-date check was destructive.
His workplace mentioned Wolf was discovered to have the virus after he underwent a routine surveillance check on the Pennsylvania Emergency Administration Company, the place he has been working.
Wolf’s partner, Frances Wolf, tested negative for the virus however will proceed to quarantine with him at their house in Mount Wolf, close to York, the governor’s workplace mentioned Thursday.
Republican lawmakers have staunchly opposed most of Wolf’s restrictions since mid-April and have accused him of abusing his powers. Anticipating that Wolf would announce a brand new spherical of restrictions, Home Majority Chief Kerry Benninghoff, R-Centre County, warned him towards it Thursday.
“Don’t use your government order pen to devastate lives and livelihoods,” Benninghoff mentioned in an announcement.
The virus is taking an more and more heavy toll on the state, which is now averaging 10,000 new confirmed circumstances a day and has a file variety of COVID-19 sufferers within the hospital. Pennsylvania reported 248 new deaths Thursday because the statewide toll handed 12,000.
The Wolf administration has already imposed indoor capability restrictions on bars and eating places, restricted indoor and outside gatherings, mandated the carrying of masks, and required out-of-state vacationers to check destructive for the virus earlier than arrival. Well being officers have additionally begged folks to remain at house at any time when doable.
However Wolf acknowledged Monday these measures and advisories haven’t prevented Pennsylvania’s numbers from going within the unsuitable path amid the nationwide surge.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Related Press contributed to this report.)
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