Wolf: Restaurants, Gyms, Other Venues Can Reopen Jan. 4

Image via Commonwealth Media Services

By Patrick Abdalla

December 30, 2020

The governor credited the restrictions for helping level off the number of cases and hospitalizations.

HARRISBURG — Gov. Tom Wolf’s restrictions on restaurants, gyms, and other venues will be lifted as scheduled on Jan. 4.

The governor on Wednesday confirmed the easing of restrictions, saying the mitigation efforts seem to have kept the state from having a Christmas surge on top of its Thanksgiving surge.

“Our statewide positivity rate went down this week for the second week in a row,” he said. “And while the number of hospitalizations and deaths remain entirely too high in Pennsylvania, it appears that the number of new cases reported each day has plateaued. 

“That means that our mitigation efforts over the past several weeks have done what they were intended to do. I thank everybody who abided by the restrictions put in place to protect us.”

Leading up to the governor’s decision to implement a short-term closure, the state saw a dramatic increase in daily cases. Heading into November, it had never had 3,000 new cases recorded in a single day. By Dec. 11, there were already seven days in the month that had 10,000 or more new cases. Four of those days topped 12,000.

In the 18 days recorded since, the state has had just two days with 10,000 or more cases. From Dec. 1-7, the state averaged 9,985 new cases a day. From Dec. 19-26, the state averaged 7,910 new cases per day.

The state reported 8,984 new cases Wednesday and 319 new coronavirus deaths. 

However, Wolf added, “this does not mean we are out of the woods.”

He called on Pennsylvanians to continue to make personal choices that will not lead to an increase in cases. He asked them to keep social distancing, wearing masks, and washing their hands.

“We need to do everything we can to keep that curve from popping back up there again,” he said.

While the mitigation efforts that were put into place on Dec. 12 are expiring, state Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine pointed out that the prior efforts remain intact. Those include keeping indoor dining at 50%. The governor also asks that anyone who can telework does. 


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