In response to the recent spike in COVID-19 cases in Allegheny County, health officials are ordering all bars to close and restaurants in Allegheny County to stop the sale of alcohol for on-site consumption. The order will take effect at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, June 30.
“As the director of the Allegheny County Health Department, it is my duty to protect the health and safety of all Allegheny County residents and while we’ve taken significant steps to track and reduce the spread of this virus, we are still seeing significant increases,” said Bogen. “We’re taking these steps today to further protect the health and safety of all residents through my authority under the Pennsylvania Disease Prevention and Control Law.”
On Sunday, 96 new COVID-19 cases were reported, which is the highest daily total of new confirmed cases the county has seen. On Saturday, there were 91 new cases. The majority of new cases are in people age 19-49 with an average age of 27.
Restaurants can remain open and operate dining rooms at 50% capacity with social distancing. Fitzgerald said that everyone should wear masks in restaurants, including customers, except when eating. Restaurants and bars can still sell alcohol and cocktails to-go but those beverages cannot be consumed on-site.
Bogen said many of the new cases being reported stemmed from travel, particularly those who participated in nightlife during travel, and visiting local bars.
“For the first time since COVID-19 cases were confirmed in the state, Allegheny County led the state in the number of new COVID-19 cases,” said County Executive Rich Fitzgerald. “We’re going the wrong direction. While most residents and businesses have been following the rules, these requirements and mitigation measures address the hot spots that have been identified during case investigations.”
Governor Wolf commended Allegheny County for the decision to shut down bars and restaurants for on-premises alcohol sales.
“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”, said Governor Wolf.