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What’s reopening in Pennsylvania and the guidelines in place

More places in our area are planning their reopening with new guidelines in place after having to close due to the coronavirus.

Here’s is what is reopening and what you need to know:

Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh

The Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History, Carnegie Science Center and the Andy Warhol Museum will open to the public on Monday, June 29.

Timed ticketing will be available on all the museums’ website starting on Monday. All locations will be:

  • limiting the number of visitors to 25% of building capacity at any one time
  • using timed ticketing for all visitors, including members
  • clearly marking foot-traffic patterns in high-traffic areas
  • enhancing cleaning protocols
  • modifying interactive exhibits where possible and placement of additional hand sanitizers near interactive exhibits
  • installing plexiglass shields at visitor services desks and in office spaces.

Visitors and staff will be required to wear masks and practice safe social distancing.

City of Pittsburgh parks

The City of Pittsburgh will soon reopen playgrounds, basketball courts, ballfields and spray parks.

Block party permits and special event permits for outdoor groups will be allowed for groups of up to 250 attendees, though they must include a COVID-19 safety plan (including hand-washing and social distancing protocols).

Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens

On Saturday, June 13, the new Summer Flower Show: Back in Bloom will kickoff the official reopening of Phipps. This is what you need to know before going:

  • RESERVE ALL TICKETS IN ADVANCE: All tickets must be purchased in advance in order to prevent crowding. Guests will able to enter by showing an electronic or printed copy of their receipt to our guest services team  
  • WEAR A MASK: Masks are required for all staff and guests ages 2 and up at all times. Guests with medical conditions that prevent them from wearing a mask may visit visit our ticketing website to learn about special accommodations.  
  • MAINTAIN A SAFE DISTANCE: Signs have been placed on the floors throughout the conservatory to remind guests what a six foot distance looks like. Phipps has created a one-way experience through the conservatory to minimize interactions with other guests.  
  • WHEN IN DOUBT, DO NOT TOUCH: In order to minimize contact with surfaces, Phipps has temporarily eliminated hands-on play areas and activities.

Seven Springs and Hidden Valley

The Somerset County ski resort’s lodges, lounges and golf courses all reopened Friday.

As of now, the July 4th fireworks show is still scheduled to happen.

They are still working on a plan to follow social distancing guidelines.

Rivers Casino

Rivers Casino announced that it will reopen on Tuesday, June 9, at 9 a.m.

At reopening, the casino new hours of operation:

  • Weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 a.m.
  • Round-the-clock on weekends starting Fridays at 9 a.m. through Mondays at 4 a.m.

The time when the casino is not opened will be used for property-wide deep cleaning in addition to continuous sanitizing throughout each day.

Masks will be required for guests and Team Members.

"Our team had already been working on making the changes announced by the PGCB in May," said Rivers Casino General Manager Bill Keena. "We intend to meet or exceed all requirements to provide a healthy environment. The safety and well-being of our Team Members, our guests and the community are our top priority. We’re eager to welcome our friends and neighbors back to Rivers."

Rivers Casino will be limiting restaurants and gaming floor capacity to 50% occupancy until further notice. The casino will manage occupancy via a customer counter at both entrances.

Valet Parking, the Poker Room, Grand View Buffet and The Event Center are not scheduled to reopen at this time. Martorano’s Prime and Mian, two new restaurants planned for Rivers Casino Pittsburgh, are delayed with opening dates yet to be announced. Construction of The Landing Hotel remains on hold.

The majority of Rivers’ gaming floor, including the popular BetRivers Sportsbook, will reopen. Wheelhouse Bar & Grill, Ciao, Drum Bar, Spiral Bar and FLIPT will reopen with limited hours of operation.

A complete list of modifications and safety precautions will be announced prior to reopening.

Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium

The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium will reopen Friday with a timed ticketing system and other changes.

Visitors will need to have a confirmed timed ticket to get into the zoo. The tickets are being made available in two-week increments so that modifications can be made as needed.

In addition to the new ticketing system, visitors will notice the following changes:

  • Closure of playground areas
  • No tram service
  • Limited capacity within the park
  • Social distancing markers throughout the park
  • Closure of log ride
  • Closure of zip line
  • Single queuing lines

The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

The Meadows sent Channel 11 a statement saying they expect to be opened at noon on Tuesday, June 9.

“We expect to reopen The Meadows at Noon on Tuesday, June 9th. We have been working closely with the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, state and local leaders, and public health officials to finalize comprehensive reopening protocols and new health and safety precautions. We look forward to sharing details of our property-specific procedures in advance of reopening and welcoming back our team members and customers.” – Tony Frabbiele, Vice President and General Manager.

Heinz History Center

The Senator John Heinz History Center and its family of museums -- including the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum, Fort Pitt Museum and Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village -- will reopen July 1.

The museums will operate at 50% capacity and have new social distancing policies for visitors and staff. There will also be frequent cleaning of high-touch areas and the addition of hand sanitizing stations.

Officials said details of advanced ticketing, timed-entry policies and new procedures will be announced later in June.

When the Heinz History Center reopens, the museum will debut its new exhibition, Smithsonian’s Portraits of Pittsburgh: Works from the National Portrait Gallery. It will feature original paintings, sketches, prints and photographs that showcase more than 100 Americans with western Pennsylvania connections.

Pennsylvania schools

Elementary and secondary schools inside Pennsylvania’s less restrictive reopening zones can resume teaching in person and other activities at the end of June, the Education Department said Wednesday.

The guidance issued by the department says school boards in the green and yellow zones under the stoplight-colored reopening system must first adopt health and safety procedures that meet federal and state guidelines.

The more than 300 colleges and other post-secondary institutions can restart on Friday if they have a plan to keep students and teachers safe, the agency announced.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.


Yellow Phase Outdoor Dining

Starting on June 5, restaurants and retail food service businesses located in counties designated as being in the yellow phase are permitted add dine-in service in outdoor seating areas so long as they strictly adhere to the requirements of the guidance, including maximum occupancy limits:

  • Indoor areas, including bar areas, of restaurants and retail food service businesses must be closed to customers except for through-traffic. Non-bar seating in outdoor areas (i.e., tables or counter seats that do not line up to a bar or food service area) may be used for customer seating.
  • Customers being served must be seated at a table.

Prohibitions are also included. The following are not permitted:

  • Self-service food or drink options, such as buffets, salad bars, condiments, and drink stations.
  • Condiments on tables; these must be dispensed by employees upon the request of a customer.
  • Reusable menus.
  • Refilling food and beverage containers or allowing implements brought in by customers.

Green Phase Dining

Retail food service businesses, including restaurants, and bars located in counties designated as being in the green phase are permitted to provide take-out and delivery sales, as well as dine-in service in both indoor and outdoor seating areas, so long as they strictly adhere to the requirements of the guidance, including maximum occupancy limits:

  • Bar seating may be utilized if customers are seated and comply with physical distancing guideline of at least 6 feet or physical barriers between customers. Standing in a bar area will not be permitted.
  • A maximum of four customers that have a common relationship may sit together at the bar, while adhering to the physical distancing guidelines or barriers between other customers.