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PHILADELPHIA -- Gov. Tom Wolf announced Thursday that he will be expanding restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) from December 12, 2020, through January 4, 2021. The new restrictions include limiting restaurants and bars to takeout and outdoor dining, all other businesses operating at 50 percent capacity, suspending extracurricular activities at schools, and temporarily closing gyms and other activity-centered businesses. Indoor gatherings will be limited to 10 people and outdoor gatherings will be limited to 50 people. The announcement comes just one day after Gov.Wolf announced that he tested positive for the virus.
According to the COVID Exit Strategy Map, Pennsylvania now has “uncontrolled spread” of COVID-19. Cases, hospitalizations and deaths are all up across the state, nearing or surpassing statewide records in recent days.
In response to the governor’s announcement, PennPIRG advocate Emma Horst-Martz released the following statement“The past few weeks have seen COVID-19 surging across the country, and Pennsylvania is no exception. By limiting some of the most high-risk activities and where people can gather together indoors, Governor Wolf is protecting public health.
While the governor is taking some right steps, given how quickly and widely the virus is spreading in the state, we need a stronger response. The quickest way to lower cases dramatically is to close all non-essential businesses and ensure that people stay home.
“We are at a critical point and the decisions made by our leaders today will determine how many lives we can save and help us get through the winter as safely as possible.
"Two things are as clear as they’ve been for months: it’s in our power to save lives, and taking measures to do so will help, not hurt the economy.
“I wish the governor a speedy recovery as he quarantines and makes the tough calls necessary to keep our state safe."
Read USPIRG Public Health Campaigns Director Matt Wellingon's piece on "How many lives will we choose to save?"
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