Pennsylvania lifts COVID-19 abatement warrants aside from masking till Memorial Day – WPXI
HARRISBURG, PA. – Governor Tom Wolf announced Tuesday that his office would lift COVID-19 mitigation orders, with the exception of the masking order, on Remembrance Day.
Wolf said in a press release that the current order requiring citizens to wear a mask will be lifted once 70% of Pennsylvanians over the age of 18 are fully vaccinated. For now, masks must be worn indoors and outdoors when you are not at home.
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“This announcement means that Memorial Day life is essentially back to normal,” said Rep. Tim O’Neal.
Requirements such as testing and reporting new cases for hospitals and long-term care facilities remain. By maintaining requirements for hospitals and long-term care facilities, Pennsylvania can continue to closely monitor the spread of COVID-19 while lifting other restrictions.
#BREAKING: PA will overturn most Covid Reduction Orders on Memorial Day (May 31st). The current masking order will remain in place until 70% of Pennsylvanians over the age of 18 are vaccinated. Full version👇 pic.twitter.com/r1HGg2VQLb
– Aaron Martin (@WPXIAaronMartin) May 4, 2021
The Pennsylvania Department of Health recommends residents follow guidelines and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control regarding ongoing COVID-19 safety measures and procedures. Municipalities and school districts may apply stricter rules if they deem it necessary.
Pennsylvania passed the 50% vaccination threshold on Monday, which means at least half of the state’s residents reported having at least one dose of the vaccine. However, reaching 70% could be challenging as medical experts say it will be an uphill battle.
In March, Wolf changed the state’s COVID-19 orders. The maximum capacity limits for indoor events were set at 15% and masks were still required to be worn. Outdoor venues were allowed up to 20% capacity. At this time, travel restrictions outside of the state were also lifted.
Last week, the state changed the order again to meet CDC requirements so that fully vaccinated individuals can visit indoors with other fully vaccinated individuals without a mask.
This is the state’s original ordinance outlining the measures taken to mitigate COVID-19.
Rich Fitzgerald, executive director of Allegheny County, issued a statement describing Wolf’s announcement as “good news for this state”:
“Today’s announcement by the governor is good news for this state and this county. I salute Governor Wolf and his team for all of their efforts in enabling us to get to this point. Pennsylvania has now reached 80.5% of the vaccines distributed that have been given.
“While we continue to get vaccinations in our arms, we approach nearly 70% of our adult population in this county with at least one shot. Knowing that we can get back to normal after Memorial Day is good news. “
Changes to the Pittsburgh Pirates Games at PNC Park
With Wolf’s announcement, there are changes to the pirate games in PNC Park:
“Today’s announcement is exciting and welcome news for the pirates, our fans and our community. We’re thrilled to be able to give fans more opportunities to reconnect safely through the summer tradition of pirate baseball in Pittsburgh. This is another important step for all of us to move out of this pandemic. “In the coming days we will be providing details on the impact of today’s announcement on capacity constraints and security protocols at PNC Park. While the state continues to require everyone in PNC Park to wear face masks, we encourage all adults to get vaccinated to remove the mask mandate. “We would like to thank Governor Tom Wolf, County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, and Mayor Bill Peduto, and all of our state, state, and local health officials for their continued guidance as we move through the ongoing effects of this pandemic.”
In addition, the Pierogi race can return to the stadium.
The Pittsburgh Penguins were already working to have a dedicated section for vaccinated fans.
A Pittsburgh Steelers spokesman told Channel 11 that they look forward to having fans at Heinz Field again:
“While we are still a few months away from the start of the NFL season, we are encouraged by the steps that are being taken across the country, and especially in the state of Pennsylvania, to hopefully meet our goal of a full Heinz field by the fall. ”
Impact on bars, restaurants; Salon owner has mixed feelings
“I’ve been waiting for it. I think it will take a long time, ”said Sherri Kelly, owner of the Mezza Luna Cafe on Northside. “We’re going to have more people than we can actually interact with, which we’d rather do than, ‘Here’s your food. See you later.'”
Across town, Studio Booth’s Jeff Natale said he had mixed feelings about the plan.
“I loved the fact that we could have more people in the salon, but also concerned that we were moving too fast without knowing the risk involved,” he said.
The Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association issued a statement following Wolf’s announcement:
“Today we learned that the Wolf Administration, in coordination with the COVID-19 Vaccine Joint Task Force, will lift all damage control orders other than masking on Monday, May 31st at 00:01 am. The masking continues until 70 percent of Pennsylvanians aged 18 and over are fully vaccinated.
“Pennsylvania’s small tavernas and licensed restaurants are certainly ready for this change, as the past 14 months have been some of the worst in the history of the industry. There are innumerable stories of financial ruin and job loss.
“But now the time has come when we can go into a full recovery mode. It’s time to make the comeback bigger than the setback.
“In the past few months, our state parliament and our administration have worked together with our industry to help it survive and recover. We are grateful for this support, but we would like to remind both chambers and the governor’s office that aid should not stop just because industry-focused mitigation missions appear to be coming to an end. There’s more to be done shifting bills to bring all customers back and rebuild a healthy industry.
“As many tavern owners know, it was the support of customers who placed take-out orders or purchase gift cards during the toughest days of damage control orders that enabled many establishments to survive. The Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association thanks all customers who have supported our affiliates over the past year.
“Finally, the PLBTA would like to thank all of its members who have collaborated with the association on the joint navigation over the past year. We look forward to continuing to work on behalf of our member companies. “
Catholic Diocese of Greensburg
The Catholic Diocese of Greensburg said they were hopeful after the announcement:
“We are reviewing this information now. At first glance, this announcement gives us a lot of hope as we strive to attract believers to church services, social events, and fundraisers. “