HARRISBURG, Pa. (KDKA) – Gov. Tom Wolf is praising Allegheny County officials for their decision to ban on-site alcohol consumption as case numbers surged.
This weekend, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald said for the first time since coronavirus cases were confirmed in the state, the county led in the number of new cases as the daily numbers neared 100.
Allegheny County officials are saying that bars are one reason that we are seeing large increases in positive cases of COVID-19. Officials are pointing out two local areas that they say are a concern — Oakland and Pittsburgh’s South Side.
Because of the recent surge in new coronavirus cases, officials have decided to not allow people to consume alcohol at bars. The bars and restaurants can continue to serve food on-site and offer to-go cocktails.
In a press conference on Monday, Wolf said “Allegheny County has been one area of concern” as cases begin to rise rapidly.
Gov. Wolf commended county leaders and emphasized that the entire state should wear masks and follow other “mitigation requirements.”
The governor’s statement reads in full:
“I commend Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and Health Department Director Dr. Debra Bogen for the decision to shut down bars and restaurants for on-premises alcohol sales in Allegheny County effective June 30. This was the right move to work to stop the recent spike of COVID-19 cases in its tracks and to remind all residents and businesses that the best defense we have in preventing the spread of COVID-19 and keeping Pennsylvanians safe is to continue to follow the mask-wearing requirement, practice social distancing, and follow safety guidelines even and especially during the green phase of reopening. We cannot become complacent in practicing the measures we know can protect everyone from the spread of this very contagious virus.
“It is my hope that swift action on the part of the county results in swift containment and the return to an increased commitment to protect all residents, especially those most vulnerable to COVID-19, and that this action sets an example for the rest of the state to continue to follow mitigation efforts put in place to protect lives and livelihoods.
“Mitigation efforts statewide include the requirement to wear a mask when in businesses, following occupancy limits in all businesses and gatherings, practicing social distancing, hand washing and sanitizing surfaces – these simple practices can make a huge difference in protecting ourselves, our seniors, our neighbors and our communities. Even if you believe you will not get sick, you can, and you can spread the virus to someone who may not be able to recover as easily.”
The order for bars to end on-site serving of alcohol was put into effect immediately and will begin being enforced at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday. The order will apply to any business establishment in Allegheny County.
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