(Image via The Philadelphia Tribune)
Indoor and outdoor events and gatherings at Pennsylvania event spaces and venues can increase their maximum occupancy limits again beginning on May 17, state officials announced Tuesday.
Starting next week, restaurants, schools and event venues can increase their indoor capacity from 25 percent maximum occupancy to 50 percent, and from 50 percent to 75 percent capacity for outdoor events.
“As more Pennsylvania adults get vaccinated and guidance from the [Centers for Disease Control] evolves, we can continue to move forward with the commonwealth’s reopening efforts,” Gov. Tom Wolf said in a statement announcing the change.
The change in occupancy does not prevent restaurants, venues, school districts or municipalities from “continuing or implementing stricter mitigation efforts,” the administration said.
State officials noted that the mask mandate is still in effect, and will remain until 70 percent of Pennsylvanians 18 and older are fully vaccinated.
“During the pandemic, all Pennsylvanians have worked collaboratively to stop the spread of COVID-19,” Wolf said. “We must continue that same mindset during our reopening efforts. I urge each eligible Pennsylvanians to get vaccinated to help protect your neighbors and loved ones as we work to safely reopen our beloved commonwealth communities.”
Earlier this month, the administration said it planned to have all COVID-19 restrictions lifted by Memorial Day on May 31, minus the mask mandate.
Wolf has been under increasing pressure from lawmakers to lift the state’s remaining restrictions before the holiday weekend, the Morning Call of Allentown reported on Tuesday. Wolf countered that lawmakers could better spend their time by encouraging people to get vaccinated, the newspaper reported.
On Tuesday, the state Health Department announced that 52.7 percent of the state’s entire population had received its first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and that 45.6 percent of adults aged 18 and older had been fully vaccinated.
The agency further confirmed 2,835 new cases of COVID-19, resulting in 1,798 hospitalizations. That brings the statewide total of cases to 1.17 million since the start of the pandemic.
Capital-Star Editor John L. Micek contributed additional reporting.
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