The federal ruling that found gathering limits, business closures and stay-at-home orders unconstitutional does not impact other mitigation efforts in place, the state secretary of health said.
“The orders that the governor and I put in place on mask-wearing, mandatory telework, worker safety, building safety and hospital safety are all still in effect to protect Pennsylvanians, especially our frontline workers,” Dr. Rachel Levine said. “These existing – and still valid – orders were put in place in the absence of any federal leadership at a time when life-saving decisions needed to be made. Saving lives has been the cornerstone of all of our decisions, including the orders referenced in the case that have since expired.”
Both the non-life-sustaining business closures and stay-at-home orders expired several months ago. The state’s gathering limits currently stand at 25 people indoors and 250 outdoors.
Several lawmakers, individuals and businesses filed suit against Levine and Gov. Tom Wolf contending the orders violate Pennsylvanian’s constitutional rights. A federal judge agreed with the plaintiffs in a Monday ruling.
State officials have said they will seek a stay of the decision, and appeal it.
“We must do the right thing and continue to social distance, contain, and mitigate this virus – all vital public health actions that are accepted worldwide to prevent the spread of disease,” Levine said.
“As the public health agency for the commonwealth, we have a responsibility to advise the public on how to protect themselves and their loved ones from this virus. That has been our charge since before the first cases were reported in Pennsylvania and it will continue to be our charge until there is a vaccine for COVID-19, regardless of court rulings that may seek to downplay the validity of our role or actions,” she said.
Local DOH data updates reported Wednesday include:
Fayette County: 755 cases (+5); 14,155 negative tests; seven deaths (no change)
Greene County: 162 cases (+2); 3,889 negative tests; one death (no change)
Washington County: 1,238 cases (+6); 23,308 negative tests; 28 deaths (no change)
Westmoreland County: 2,003 cases (+10); 40,060 negative tests; 49 deaths (no change)
Allegheny County: 11,431 cases (+73); 161,074 negative tests; 341 deaths (+6)
Pennsylvania: 146,990 (+776); 1,708,131 negative tests; 7,903 deaths (+28)
Long-term care living facilities
Fayette County: seven facilities; 18 cases in residents; 17 in employees; one death
Greene County: two facilities; two cases in residents; two in employees; no deaths
Washington County: 13 facilities; 75 cases in residents; 17 in employees; nine deaths
Westmoreland County: 23 facilities; 217 cases in residents; 64 in employees; 31 deaths
Allegheny County: 101 facilities; 1,432 cases in residents; 490 in employees; 276 deaths
Pennsylvania: 956 facilities; 22,064 cases in residents; 4,806 in employees; 5,308 deaths
For additional information, visit health.pa.gov.
Complaints regarding licensees not complying with COVID-19 mitigation mandates may be directed to the state police Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement at 1-800-932-0602 or reported through the BLCE’s online complaint form at www.psp.pa.gov/LCE.