Allegheny County COVID-19 restrictions lifted immediately in favor of state rules

Allegheny County COVID-19 restrictions lifted immediately in favor of state rules

ALLEGHENY CO., Pa. — The Allegheny County Health Department announced Thursday its stricter COVID-19 orders have been lifted, effective immediately.

Instead, Allegheny County will abide by the limitations set by the state -- which were less restrictive in terms of gathering limits.

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The Pa. Department of Health’s orders related to mask-wearing, mandatory telework, worker safety, building safety and hospital safety all remain in place.

Officials said business occupancy restrictions “applicable to personal care service, indoor recreation and health and wellness facilities, entertainment venues, and bars and restaurants are also in effect.”

The previous gathering limits in Allegheny County -- indoors of 25 or less people and outdoors of 100 -- are being lifted in favor of the state guidelines, which allow for 250 people outside.

However, because a federal judge ruled that Gov. Tom Wolf’s restrictions on gatherings are unconstitutional, these limits are not technically enforceable by the state. Rather, they are strongly encouraged.

The indoor dining capacity and alcohol sale rules do remain in effect because they were not part of the recent court filing.

Allegheny County previously had a strict three-drink maximum, but the state has no limit on how many drinks you have as long as alcohol is served with a meal and not past 11 p.m.

Here is the full release from Director Dr. Debra Bogen:

“Our case counts continue to remain relatively low and we are doing much better than other areas of the country,” said Bogen. “Throughout the pandemic, the department has used the most up-to-date information to make decisions to control the spread of the virus in our community. Those efforts have been effective. While we are lifting the more restrictive orders today, we hope that residents will continue to follow guidance in place to protect themselves, their friends and their families.”

As a reminder, the state orders related to mask-wearing, mandatory telework, worker safety, building safety and hospital safety all remain in place. Additionally, business occupancy restrictions applicable to personal care service, indoor recreation and health and wellness facilities, entertainment venues, and bars and restaurants are also in effect.

“We were able to get to this point because people are wearing their masks and being diligent,” said Bogen. "The lifting of these orders doesn’t change the importance of still wearing masks, maintaining physical distance, washing our hands frequently, and all of the other mitigation measures that have been impactful in the county.

“The pandemic has had an enormous impact on individuals, families, communities and businesses. We need to remain strong as a community. Keep kindness, empathy and love at the front of your actions.”

The most effective means to reduce the spread of the virus continues to be wearing well-fitted masks over your nose and mouth and remaining physically distanced (at least 6 feet) and washing your hands appropriately. Please stay home if you are sick, get tested if they have symptoms or are a close contact, and follow isolation and quarantine instructions closely.

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