PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Allegheny County officials say they are banning on-site consumption of alcohol after a recent surge in new cases of Coronavirus.
“For the first time since COVID-19 cases were confirmed in the state, Allegheny County led the state in the number of new COVID-19 cases,” said County Executive Rich Fitzgerald. “We are going in the wrong direction. While most residents and businesses have followed the rules, these mitigation requirements and measures address the critical points that have been identified during case investigations. These are severe steps, but now we have to take steps to limit the spread of the community that endangers those who are elderly, high risk, or immunocompromised. ”
The order for bars to finish serving alcohol at the venue will take effect at 5 pm Tuesday. The order will apply to any business establishment in Allegheny County.
Bars will continue to serve food on-site and may offer cocktails to go. However, people cannot consume alcohol in the bar facilities. South Side and Oakland are particular areas of concern, according to Dr. Debra Bogen, Director of the Allegheny County Health Department.
“I know Dr. Bogen and her team, we don’t make these decisions lightly,” Fitzgerald said. “We know how important the economy is, we know how important the economy of restaurants and bars is for our region. We want them to be successful. We want them to succeed safely. “
Other county restrictions include that customers must wear masks unless they are eating or drinking on the premises. Any business that violates these restrictions will be investigated by the county and forced to close for at least a week. Restaurants are asked to maintain physical distance, reduce occupancy to 50%, and prioritize outdoor seating.
Bogen recommended a 14-day self-isolation period for people traveling out of state or to have two negative COVID-19 tests at least 48 hours apart from the first test.
The health department reported a new daily record of 96 new Coronavirus cases in one day on Sunday. On Saturday, the health department reported 90 new cases of COVID-19. The total number of cases reached 393 during the week.
“We don’t want to do the next shutdown, but we may have to if the numbers don’t improve in the coming days, so we are going to continue to monitor this, we are going to continue to track our contacts,” Fitzgerald said. “Until we have a vaccine until we have a cure, we will be in this situation. There will be good weeks and bad weeks, good days and bad days, things that will open, things that could be closed, things that could be temporarily closed, or things that could be permanently closed. ”
Stick with KDKA as we follow this unfolding story.