Pittsburgh, PA (AP) — Officials in western Pennsylvania’s Allegheny County are halting all on-site consumption of alcohol in bars and restaurants due to what they call an “alarming” spike in COVID-19 cases.
Officials said the recent spike has been largely among young people and involved out-of-state travel, often including night life during travel, and going to local bars and restaurants.
As a result, bars and restaurants in the county, which includes the city of Pittsburgh, won’t be allowed to serve alcohol, although take-out will be allowed as OK’d by the state. In addition, masks will be enforced and outdoor seating is being encouraged.
Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf commended the Allegheny County Executive and Health Department for the additional mitigations the county is putting in place in response to significant COVID-19 case increases over the past few days, emphasizing that the situation in Allegheny County is a reminder for the entire state to follow mask-wearing and other mitigation requirements.
The majority of new cases in Allegheny County are in people age 19-49 with an average age of 27.
“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.”