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Wolf administration releases ‘targeted mitigation’ measures

HARRISBURG — The Wolf administration has released what it calls “targeted mitigation measures” aimed at stopping a resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic in Pennsylvania.

In the order, restaurants and bars, schools and large gatherings are facing more restrictions.

Schools in counties listed in the “substantial transmission level” for at least two weeks are required to commit to safety measures to ensure the safety and well-being of students and staff. If they choose not to, they must move to fully remote learning without extra-curricular activities. There are 59 counties that have been at the substantial transmission level for at least two weeks, including all counties in the Juniata Valley.

Requirements for Pre-K to 12 public schools in substantial counties for at least two consecutive weeks:

*Schools are mandated to comply with both the masking order and updated protocols that apply when COVID-19 case is identified in the school building.

*By 5 p.m. Monday, November 30, chief school administrators and the governing body president/chair must sign an attestation form stating they have either transitioned to a fully remote learning model or are complying with the orders if they are conducting any in-person instruction.

*Those schools that do not sign or comply with an attestation are required to provide only fully remote learning and suspend all extracurricular activities as long as the county remains in the substantial transmission level.

The Wolf Administration is requiring Pre-K to 12 public schools in counties that have been in the substantial transmission level for a least two weeks to commit to safety measures to ensure the safety and well-being of students and staff. If they choose not to, they must move to fully remote learning without extra-curricular activities. There are 59 counties that have been at the substantial transmission level for at least two weeks.

Business are required to enforce cleaning and social distancing requirements, mandatory telework unless impossible, and other safety measures.

To help with enforcement of existing masking orders in businesses, the Wolf administration is introducing liability protection for all businesses that maintain in-person operations and are open to the public. Businesses will receive immunity from civil liability only as related to the commonwealth’s COVID-19 disaster emergency response given that individuals and entities are engaged in essential emergency services activities and disaster services activities when enforcing the Secretary of Health’s mask-wearing order.

Large gatherings are restricted further based upon venue size. Outdoor venues with a capacity of 0 to 2,000 people can operate at 15% of maximum occupancy, venues with a capacity of 2,001 to 10,000 can operate at 10% capacity and venues with more than 10,000 capacity can operate at 5% capacity, up to 2,500 people. Indoor venues of 0-2,000 can be at 10% capacity, venues of 2,001-10,000 can be at 5% capacity and no venue with capacity of more than 10,000 can host more than 500 people for a gathering.

For restaurants and bars, in an effort to curtail pre-Thanksgiving gatherings, venues must cease alcohol sales for on-site consumption on Wednesday at 5 p.m. This restriction only applies to this Wednesday.

The Wolf administration says it plans to more aggressively enforce the orders and encourages people to stay home as much as possible.

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