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The Post  
PA Gov. Wolf Announces New Restrictions; New DE COVID Guidelines; Panel Approves Pfizer Vaccine
  by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA
started: 12/11/20 12:54 am | updated: 12/11/20 12:54 am
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced new restrictions and mitigation efforts at a press conference on Thursday afternoon, 12/10. Heath Commisioner Dr. Rachel Levine announced that there are 5,852 individuals hospitalized with COVID-19, and of that number, 1,191 patients are in the intensive care unit with COVID-19. She also noted that the past two days have had the highest number of deaths since the start of the pandemic. New positive cases continue to rise exponentially across all age groups, including younger people. The new restrictions go into effect at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, December 12, and remain until 8:00 a.m. on Monday, January 4.

The restrictions include:

- Indoor dining is suspended; including, but not limited to, bars, restaurants, breweries, wineries, distilleries, social clubs, and private catered events is prohibited.

- Outdoor dining and takeout are still permitted

- Indoor gatherings of any kind are limited to 10 people

- Outdoor gatherings are limited to 50 people

- Churches, synagogues, temples, mosques, and other places of congregate worship are specifically excluded, but are strongly encouraged to find alternative methods for worship

- In-person businesses that serve the public (ie. retail and salons) may only operate at 50% capacity

- Indoor gyms or fitness facilities must remain closed. Outdoor facilities and classes can continue.

- Any entertainment-type facility must close; including, but not limited to, theaters, concert venues, museums, movie theaters, arcades, casinos, bowling alleys, private clubs, and all other similar entertainment, recreational or social facilities.

- Schools may remain open.

- K-12 school extracurricular activities and clubs must be suspended.

- K-12 youth sports must be suspended. Including public schools, nonpublic schools, private schools and club, travel, recreational, intermural, and intramural sports.

- Professional or collegiate sports activities may continue

SEE ALSO: Gov. Wolf, Sec. of Health Announce New Protective Mitigation Efforts to Put Pennsylvania on Pause through Early January

SEE ALSO: Department Of Health Provides Update On COVID-19: 5,852 Patients Hospitalized And 1,191 Patients In The Intensive Care Unit - 11,972 Additional Positive Cases Of COVID-19

Delaware Governor John Carney announced additional restrictions for the state in response to the surge in new coronavirus COVID-19 cases. Last week, Carney issued a stay-at-home advisory asking residents to avoid gathering indoors with anyone outside their household. He also issued a mask mandate, requiring residents to wear a mask indoors whenever near members outside of their household. Last week's advisory and the new restrictions are in effect Dec. 14 to Jan. 11

The restrictions include:

- Retail businesses below 5,000 sqft and Houses of Worship are limited to 40% capacity

- Business over 100,000 sqft are limited to 20% capacity

- All other businesses and restaurants are limited to 30% capacity

- Restaurants and bars must close at 10 p.m., but can continue to deliver. Only members of the same household can sit at the same table. Mall food courts can only seat 20% of capacity, or 100 people, whichever is smaller

- Gym classes are limited to 10 people and must remain 13 feet apart. Exercise machines must be spaced 10 feet apart.

"These additional restrictions are intended to protect Delaware's hospital capacity and protect lives this winter," Carney said in a statement. "Health care workers are on the job around the clock, caring for the sick. We all need to follow their lead and do our part to protect others. Don't gather with anyone outside of your household. Any interaction is riskier when community spread is at current levels. Wear a mask whenever you're around someone outside your household - even if they're family or friends. Wash or sanitize your hands frequently. COVID-19 can cause serious illness and worse, especially for our most vulnerable friends, family members, and neighbors. Please take this seriously."

SEE ALSO: Governor Carney Announces Additional COVID-19 Restrictions to Confront Winter Surge

An advisory panel of independent medical experts have endorsed the Pfizer/BioNTech's coronavirus vaccine after a public hearing on Thursday, 12/10. The vote was 17-4 with one abstention. The panel concluded that the vaccine is safe and effective for emergency use in adults and teenagers 16 and older. This recommendation is the last major hurdle before the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would sign off on an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). Once the FDA signs final approval, millions of doses of the vaccine that have already been manufactured will be sent out across the country. They could start giving inoculations next week. These initial doses will most likely be used to immunize healthcare and frontline emergency workers that come into contact with the disease daily. Next Thursday, 12/17, Moderna's vaccine will go before the advisory panel.

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