HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (WPVI) — Governor Tom Wolf says professional sports can resume and businesses can allow outdoor dining in the yellow phase of his reopening plan.
On Wednesday, Wolf announced that beginning June 5, restaurants and retail foodservice businesses located in counties designated as being in the yellow phase are permitted add dine-in service in outdoor seating.
The businesses must follow some restrictions:
-Indoor areas, including bar areas, of restaurants and retail food service businesses must be closed to customers except for through-traffic. Non-bar seating in outdoor areas (i.e., tables or counter seats that do not line up to a bar or food service area) may be used for customer seating.
– Customers being served must be seated at a table.
Prohibitions are also included. The following are not permitted:
-Self-service food or drink options, such as buffets, salad bars, condiments, and drink stations.
-Condiments on tables; these must be dispensed by employees upon the request of a customer.
-Refilling food and beverage containers or allowing implements brought in by customers.
For counties that will enter the green phase on Friday, dine-in service and outdoor seating will both be allowed as long as businesses follow strict guidelines.
Read more on the guidance here.
Wolf says professional sports are allowed to practice or play in the yellow and green phases of reopening without on-site or venue spectators if the team has developed a COVID-19 safety plan.
The plan must be approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Health and include, among other requirements, testing or screening and monitoring of all on-venue players and personnel.
Sports teams are encouraged to contact the Wolf Administration to share their reopening plans and get them approved by the Department of Health.
Pennsylvania leaders say the commonwealth is heading in the right direction as it continues to battle COVID-19. The health department says the number of cases continues to decline.
Officials reported an additional 113 deaths linked to the coronavirus, raising the statewide total to 5,265, the commonwealth reported Wednesday.
Officials also reported that 780 more people have tested positive for the virus.
Since early March, infections have been confirmed in more than 69,417 people in Pennsylvania. Health officials reported that 62% of the people who have tested positive are fully recovered, meaning it’s been more than 30 days since the date of their positive test or onset of symptoms.
The number of infections is thought to be far higher than the confirmed count because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected without feeling sick.
“Regionally, we are seeing some fluctuation of case counts but overall they are trending downward. Statewide, we are now estimating that 62 percent of people with COVID-19 have recovered,” said Dr. Rachel Levine, the Secretary of Health of Pennsylvania.
For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms that clear up in a couple of weeks. Older adults and people with existing health problems are at higher risk of more severe illness, including pneumonia, or death.
Governor Wolf says his stay at home orders are working and stressed the fight is not over. He says all residents have a part to play. The state says it will continue to do more testing, for a rate of about 80,000 people per week and will also perform contact tracing and provide health workers with protective gear.
The ultimate goal is for all counties to move into the green phase, which suspends stay at home orders and opens businesses.
“We are all waiting. There is a lot of uncertainty. We don’t have enough testing yet. I think we have bought time which was the idea of what we have done over the past two months,” said Governor Tom Wolf.
Hours before the daily coronavirus update, Governor Wolf had a virtual conversation with presidential candidate Joe Biden, who he’s supporting for president. Biden praised the governor for his three-phased planned to reopen Pennsylvania.
“I think it is a kind of thing that we should be doing nationally is your reopening plan. You talk about 3 phases, red phase, yellow phase and green phase,” said Biden
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