Last week, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf (D), announced a three week shutdown to curb a coronavirus spike which ceased indoor dining at “bars, restaurants, breweries, wineries, socials clubs, gyms, and catered event” until January 4, 2021. The order prohibits the gather of more than ten people however, it excludes places of worship.
Wolf who has lead the coronavirus testing strategy in the country has made restaurants and gyms a scapegoat for his failed leadership.
The new order began on December 12, however many restaurants are staying open mainly because they refuse to lay off their workers during the holiday season.
“They’re worried about paying their rent or buying their children Christmas gifts,” Al’s Cafe owner Rod Ambrogi said, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “So we made the decision and the restaurant employees want to stay open, so that’s what I’m doing. I’m standing up for what I believe is right.”
The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that some establishments are facing “fines or temporary closure.”:
State officials said they have sent warning letters to those that have not complied, threatening them with fines of up to $300 a day or closure until they agree to serve only takeout and outdoor dining. A Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture spokesperson also said inspectors will begin unannounced visits to noncompliant businesses.
Pittsburg, Pennsylvania’s health commissioner, Thomas Farley defended the coronavirus restrictions but didn’t say his office would take any action.
“What we in the Health Department have tried to do is limit the spread of the virus, limit the number of people who die from it, while having minimal impact to the economy,” Farley said, contending that restaurants “have been demonstrated through a number of studies to be very high-risk settings for spread.”
Farley is actually wrong, in California a San Diego judge overturned indoor dinning restrictions because the county failed to provide any scientific data to show restaurants were responsible for spreading the coronavirus.
Philadelphia inquirer | Pittsburg Post-Gazette