The latest update on COVID-19 cases shows a trend of cases increasing in all states except for six. Question is, what are these states doing differently? Restrictions are rapidly changing by the day in many states and major cities, however that’s not the case in all states. Some states have not made any new restrictions and remain unchanged, some have eased and even have been lifted. To find the most updated restrictions for your state visit, https://www.usatoday.com/storytelling/coronavirus-reopening-america-map/.
As of Monday, November 23rd there have been 314,401 reported cases of COVID-19 in Pennsylvania since the start of the pandemic. The Department of Health announced a two-day total of 11,837 new positive cases.
With projections of 22,000 new cases of COVID-19 in December, restrictions were updated on November 23rd in the state of Pennsylvania to include the following:
- Alcohol sales suspended at 5:00 pm Wednesday, November 25th at bars and restaurants – this will be lifted at 8:00 am on Thursday morning – indoor dining may continue; however, takeout is encouraged.
- Large gatherings of more than 500 people indoors or 2,500 people outdoors is prohibited.
- Stay-at-home advisory now in effect – this is not an order, but rather an advisory.
- Telework is mandatory unless impossible
New requirements for safety measures in public school’s Pre-K to 12 in counties that have been in the substantial transmission level for at least two consecutive weeks. As of Friday, November 20th there are 59 counties that are at this level. For these schools, the requirements are the following:
- Schools are mandated to comply with updated protocols if a COVID-19 case is identified.
- By 5:00 pm on November 30th, chief school administrators must sign an attestation form stating they have transitioned to fully remote learning or are complying with the orders if they are conducting any in-person instruction.
- The schools that do not sign or comply with an attestation are required to provide only fully remote learning and suspend all extracurricular activities.
To further emphasize the severity of the mitigation efforts, Governor Tom Wolf’s Administration is increasing the enforcement of out of state travel, mask-wearing, business safety, restaurant mitigation, gathering limits and school attestation. While it will be determined on a case by case basis, a warning or citation will be given. Fines from $25 to $300 can be given in the event of a citation. Enforcement agencies will include Pennsylvania State Police, local law enforcement, Departments of Agriculture and State, and PA Liquor Control Board.
As we all anticipated, more restrictions have been added and will continue to be added in effort to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. Let’s all do our part, however that may be to keep ourselves and others healthy while they are advisories, rather than orders. As always, stay safe.