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Temporary restrictions may soon be lifting, but other mitigation efforts will remain in effect

"We're not out of the woods. Not by any means," said Governor Wolf.

PENNSYLVANIA, USA — In less than two days, restaurants may welcome customers back inside. Governor Tom Wolf announced that the temporary restrictions ordered in December will lift. While it is a step in the right direction for restaurant owners, officials say the battle against COVID-19 is not over yet. 

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise, Governor Tom Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine today implored Pennsylvanians to take the next three weeks and stand united against the virus by adhering to existing mitigation orders and stricter efforts announced today.

"There have been some positive signs lately: Our statewide percent positivity rate has went down this week for the second week in a row," explained Governor Wolf during a press conference earlier this week.

He says COVID-19 cases have also plateaued.

"That means our mitigation efforts over the past few weeks have done what they needed to do," he said.

However, Governor Wolf says COVID-19 related hospitalizations and deaths remain entirely too high.

"We're not out of the woods. Not by any means," said Governor Wolf.

The governor is reminding people that while the temporary restrictions on gatherings, restaurant, and gyms may be lifting Monday morning, he says mitigation efforts are still necessary and will be in effect.

"All mitigation orders that were put in place prior to December 12 remain in effect," explained Wolf. "What remains includes: Mask wearing requirements, that stays, gathering limits based on venue size, that stays, business capacity limits, that stays, and restaurant self-certification."

Restaurants which have self-certified may open their doors for indoor dining at 50% capacity; those which have not should remain at 25%. People can only drink alcohol if it's part of a meal, and the last drinks must be served by 11 p.m. Hair salons, barbershops, casinos, theaters, museums, and indoor gyms may open at 50% capacity.

"If we get complacent and let case numbers go back up, the danger to our communities to our families will return with swift and deadly consequences," warned Gov. Wolf.

As for mask wearing, the governor says face coverings will continue to be required indoors and outdoors if you're not at home. The temporary restrictions lift at 8 a.m. Monday.

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