New statewide COVID-19 restrictions expected to be announced Thursday, Lt. Gov. Fetterman says

PITTSBURGH — New statewide COVID-19 restrictions will likely be announced Thursday, according to Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman.

The announcement would come one day after Gov. Tom Wolf revealed he tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday. He is in isolation at home and said he has no symptoms and is feeling well.

Fetterman said Wednesday that Wolf and state Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine will likely hand down new restrictions on Thursday.

It was Wednesday that new restrictions were expected to be handed down after comments made Tuesday by Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald.

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Fitzgerald said he wasn’t aware of the full details but expects the announcement to involve limiting gatherings.

Although Fitzgerald doesn’t anticipate a shutdown, he does expect the state to roll out orders versus recommendations.

“We want to keep people from gathering with people who aren’t in their household,” he said. “Unfortunately, recommendations -- strong recommendations -- haven’t allowed us to see an improvement in the numbers that we’ve had over these last couple of weeks, so before it gets out of hand even more than it is, they want to take these types of measures.”

Fitzgerald said he expects the changes wouldn’t take effect until this weekend. Right now, the county doesn’t plan to announce separate restrictions.

Fitzgerald’s comments came after Wolf took part in a statewide news conference Monday, warning that new mitigation efforts could be on the way.

The owner of a gym, which is among businesses deemed “nonessential” by the state, told Channel 11 he plans on staying open regardless of what happens.

“We’ll see what he says,” said Matt Mertz, owner of Powerhouse Gym Pittsburgh. “We have no intentions of shutting down, so we will see what he says.”

Customers are required to wear a mask to get inside Powerhouse Gym, but Mertz said he doesn’t require his members to keep their masks on while inside because he is not sure whether they have a medical condition that prevents them from wearing one. His main focus is giving his customers a place he believes they need.