Gov. Wolf: COVID-19 Mitigation Efforts in Place are Vital to Help Stop the Spread

Governor Tom Wolf reminded Pennsylvanians that as COVID-19 cases continue to rise, the state’s existing mitigation efforts remain in place and are more important than ever to understand and follow.

“The fall surge in cases is something we expected and were prepared for and we’ve learned a lot since the spring, but as I’ve said many times, the virus goes where it wants, we must do all that we can to ward it off and protect ourselves, our loved ones, our communities, and our health care systems,” Gov. Wolf said. “The current mitigation efforts and orders in place are more important than ever. We must unite against COVID and follow these orders.”

The following chart outlines current restrictions in place:

Business, Work, School, Child Care, and Congregate Settings

  • Child care may open, complying with guidance
  • Congregate care restrictions in place
  • Prison and hospital restrictions determined by individual facilities
  • Schools subject to CDC and commonwealth guidance
  • Telework must continue where feasible
  • Businesses with in-person operations must follow updated business and building safety requirements
  • Masks are required in businesses
  • All in-person businesses may operate at 75% occupancy, except where noted
    • Self-certified restaurants may open at 50% capacity for indoor dining
    • On-premises alcohol consumption prohibited unless part of a meal; cocktails-to-go and carryout beverages are allowed
    • Serving alcohol for on-site consumption must end at 11 p.m, and all alcoholic beverages must be removed from patrons by midnight
    • Personal care services (including hair salons and barbershops) open at 50% occupancy and by appointment only
    • Indoor recreation and health and wellness facilities (such as gyms and spas) open at 50% occupancy with appointments strongly encouraged; fitness facilities are directed to prioritize outdoor fitness activities
    • All entertainment (such as casinos, theaters, and shopping malls) open at 50% occupancy
  • Construction activity may return to full capacity with continued implementation of protocol

Social Restrictions

Local Guidelines

The Wolf Administration supports local officials who choose to maintain additional restrictions. The following counties are under additional local guidelines:

“Decisions are made based on ensuring all Pennsylvanians have access to health care, and never is it more important than those in need of treatment for COVID,” Gov. Wolf said. “Our hospitalizations continue to rise, but our system is not overwhelmed. We need to keep it that way.”

The state has learned a lot about the virus and the work Pennsylvania has done and continues to do in order to meet the needs in hospitals and long-term care facilities also includes providing new treatment drugs like Remdesivir, performing case investigations and contact tracing as necessary, increasing testing, and introducing tools such as the COVID Alert PA app available to notify people of COVID-19 exposures quickly.

Existing orders include:

  • Building safety order: For business permitted to conduct in-person operations, this order provides for proper protocols for cleaning and disinfecting.
  • Worker safety order: This order from the Secretary of Health requiring certain actions to be taken by employers and their employees to protect their health and lives, the health and lives of their families, and the health and lives of the residents of the Commonwealth who depend upon their services.
  • Hospital reporting order: This order requires hospitals to make daily reports of specified data regarding supplies and equipment and an amendment to that order that changed reporting from three times per day to one time per day.
  • Hospital safety order: This order requires hospitals to implement measures to protect hospital staff and patients, including notifications for all staff when a staff member is positive, and proper provisions for PPE.
  • Universal testing order: This was put in place to ensure testing of all residents and staff of long-term care facilities in the state.
  • Long term care facilities personal protective equipment order: This order worked to ensure that all staff and residents of long-term care facilities has proper PPE and protections in place.
  • Mask wearing order: This order defines a “face covering,” how to wear one, and when one must be worn.
  • July 15 targeted mitigation order: This order placed restrictions on bars, restaurants, social clubs and indoor gatherings to help stop the spread of COVID after multiple research studies noted an increase in cases from these types of businesses.

The Wolf Administration supports local officials who choose to maintain additional restrictions. The following counties are under additional local restrictions: Philadelphia.

“As Pennsylvania continues to see cases rise each day, we remain vigilant in our efforts to protect Pennsylvanians by making testing widely available and encouraging mitigation efforts that we know to be effective,” Gov. Wolf said. “I ask that all Pennsylvanians follow these orders and look out for one another so we can stop the spread.”

Visit or the Pennsylvania Department of Health coronavirus pages for more information.